COVID Sidelines Cancer—and Reveals What’s Possible

Cancer care worldwide has suffered profoundly amid the pandemic, the WHO warned this week ahead of World Cancer Day today.
Half of governments have had cancer services “partially or completely disrupted.” Service gaps in countries of all income levels mean cancer’s death toll is sure to increase in the coming years. As a Lancet Oncology commentary points out, unaddressed risk factors like skyrocketing youth obesity are derailing the significant progress toward World Cancer Declaration targets for 2025.

Who's numbers: 

  • By 2040, new global cases are set to be 47% higher than they were in 2020. 
  • 90% of global cervical cancer deaths in 2020 were in low- and middle-income countries.

But: If the HPV vaccination targets are reached, cervical cancer cases could plummet 70% by 2050, averting 4.5 million deaths from the disease.  
The pandemic has severely affected routine HPV vaccination programs—but the “remarkable innovations and adaptations” triggered by the crisis can also be repurposed to improve HPV v

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