10,000 Unnecessary Cancer Deaths Linked to COVID-19 Pandemic, Lockdown in UK: Report

HOUSTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 18: An Emergency Room nurse tends to a patient at the Houston Methodist The Woodlands Hospital on August 18, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

Across Houston, hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of patients in hallways and corridors as their emergency rooms are being overwhelmed due to the sharp increase in Delta variant cases. Hospitals are straining to keep up with the surge of new coronavirus patients as schools and business’s continue to reopen. Houston has seen an upward increase in Delta infections, and research is showing the Delta variant to be 60% more contagious than its predecessor the Alpha variant, also known as COVID-19. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

A lack of face-to-face doctor visits in the UK since the start of the CCP virus pandemic may result in 10,000 unnecessary deaths due to cancer, said a report from University College London published this week.

Researchers with the university said that a drop in emergency referrals from general practitioners in 2020 across the United Kingdom resulted in some 40,000 late diagnoses of cancer. The delays, combined with longer National Health Service (NHS) treatment due to the pandemic, mean that thousands will die “significantly earlier” from cancer, the report found.

The study found that more than 60 percent of people surveyed by the university were concerned about talking to their general practitioner (GP) about “minor health problems” amid the pandemic. Before the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus’s spread, around 80 percent of appointments with doctors were in person, but only 57 percent of consultations were face-to-face in July 2021, the report noted.

“The immediate effect of the pandemic was to delay early diagnosis. Even before the pandemic, Britain’s performance was not up there with the best of the world,” said report co-author David Taylor, a professor with University College London, according to The Telegraph.

“There is some evidence to suggest every month treatment is delayed can increase the risk of early death by seven percent,” he said. “Some of it is about patients not presenting, worrying about being a burden on their GP, some of it is about access problems.”

In October 2020, a report from health care analyst firm Dr Foster said the NHS’s guidance that residents should “Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives” scared patients away from seeking medical attention last year.

Dr Foster’s director of strategy and analytics Tom Binstead said of the report last year, “Overall, the analysis suggests that the long-term effects of the pandemic are likely to be far-reaching, with a future spike in demand possible due to missed diagnoses and postponed procedures.”

“Cancers may now require a greater level of treatment, or even be untreatable,” he said at the time, “if they have been left undetected or untreated as a result of the crisis.”

A spokesperson for the NHS told The Telegraph and other news outlets on Tuesday that during the pandemic the agency prioritized individuals who sought care for cancer.

Services for cancer are at “pre-pandemic levels,” while the latest monthly figures suggest “more than 200,000 people referred for checks and more than 27,000 starting treatment,” the spokesperson said.

COVID-19 is the illness caused by the CCP virus.

The Epoch Times has contacted NHS for comment. 

Jack Phillips

SENIOR REPORTER at The Epoch Times based in New York.