Breast cancer treatment should resume in Brazil at the earliest as vaccination picks up

New October Pink campaign deals with the relevant topic of breast cancer. The entire month will be dedicated to publicizing the importance of self-examination, early diagnosis and preventive treatments. Actions in this direction are multiplying in Brazil. In 2021, according to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), the country should register 66,280 new cases of breast cancer, which corresponds to almost 30% of the incidence of the disease in Brazilian women. This is one of the diseases that kill the most women in the world. For those who are already cancer patients, a support network, both informational and emotional, is essential.

Care must be reinforced in times of pandemic. The difficulties imposed on health networks by the new coronavirus also affected more time-consuming and painful cancer diagnoses and treatments for patients. According to the Brazilian Society of Pathology, at least 50,000 Brazilians have not been diagnosed with cancer since the beginning of the spread of COVID-19, and 70% of surgeries to treat cancer were postponed between March and May of last year. according to the Brazilian Society of Oncology Surgery.
The Brazilian Society of Mastology – Minas Gerais Regional (SBM-MG) warns that, at this time, many women are looking for late or postponing their routine exams. Research prepared by Ibope Inteligência at the request of pharmaceutical company Pfizer revealed that 62% of women wait for the end of the pandemic to resume medical consultations and routine exams necessary for the detection of breast cancer.
The percentage is even higher among those over 60 years of age, the group most at risk from COVID-19, with 73% of the women interviewed said they had stopped attending a gynecologist or breast cancer specialist since the beginning of the pandemic – there was significant reduction in attendance at hospital units.
The Ibope survey also points out that women under 40 are the most underserved in terms of information on prevention and routine examinations. Lack of knowledge contributes to receiving the diagnosis later and suffering from more aggressive tumors. These are significant data, considering that cancer does not have a quarantine.
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