Thursday , January 28 2021

Cancer does not wait for the quarantine to end

Eight months after the first quarantine, oncologists are more likely to find neglected cancer in men because they did not arrive on time for screening. Doctors emphasize that the test is necessary, and that masks, gloves, hand disinfection, etc. protect against COVID-19 infection.

He recovered after surgery

Mindaugas underwent prostate cancer surgery fourteen years ago. “I was one of the first to be screened in the prostate cancer program. Then he diagnosed the disease – the man recalls.

The man was then operated on, and that was enough for the disease to disappear. Now Mindaugas says she only remembers prostate cancer when she receives an invitation from her GP for an examination:

“Back then, we just noticed it. And whenever I have the opportunity, I encourage my friends to do so. Most were convinced. “

I am afraid to apply

Fourteen-year-old doctors encourage men to screen for prostate cancer, the most common oncological disease in men. Although the country has a prostate cancer early diagnosis program in which men are tested for free, only one in four doctors comes for an appointment.

Giedrius Jočys, a doctor from the Urology Department of the University Hospital in Klaipeda, says that now the flow of prostate cancer patients to urologists has decreased even more: medical facilities. If someone lives in the countryside, he cannot come because there are no buses and the neighbors are not driving because they are afraid of the virus. Children who should look after their parents usually live abroad, says the doctor.

For such a person to be treated, he must not only obtain a remote consultation, but also conduct research. But she cannot get to the GP due to quarantine. In the past, GPs simply referred patients to urologists without any tests. In the past, doctors used to visit rural clinics once a week and took them for blood tests, but now, due to the pandemic, they no longer go to the villages.

Doctor G. Jočys predicts that after the end of the pandemic, patients screened for the first time in Lithuania will be more likely to be diagnosed with neglected cancer, which is rare recently.

Checked every fourth

The Prostate Cancer Early Diagnosis Program is for men aged 50 to 69 and for men aged 45 and over if their parents or siblings have had prostate cancer. These men should periodically have a simple blood test that shows the amount of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in their blood. Men with PSA above the norm are referred to a urologist by their family doctor. This specialist will perform a prostate biopsy if necessary by taking prostate tissue and determining in a laboratory if a man has prostate cancer.

Last year, one in ten respondents had elevated PSA levels, and half of the men who had a biopsy were diagnosed with prostate cancer. 6-7% of prostate cancer was already widespread in people who were first diagnosed with the disease.

“If we detected cancer early in these men, mortality would change dramatically,” said the head of the Urology Clinic of the Medical University of Kaunas, Prof. dr. Mindaugas Jievaltas. – Unfortunately, some men wait until the last day and go to the doctors only when there is no other option. The basic principle of oncology is that the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more treatment options there are and the better the chances of recovery.

The pandemic has destroyed order

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted all screening programs, including prostate cancer. However, the professor emphasizes that this should not be the case. Urologists across Europe agreed that approximately 60-70% of cancer patients are low-risk. in all patients the examination can be safely postponed as their cancer develops very slowly. Some of them do not start treatment under normal conditions, but are only monitored. Treatment is given to them if the disease begins to spread. However, men with aggressive prostate cancer who are at high risk of cancer start treatment immediately and receive more aggressive treatment than those with a lower risk of cancer.

In order for doctors to be sure that the treatment is effective, the disease is under control and not metastatic, these men must have their PSA tested.

The specialist emphasizes that men who do not have prostate cancer, but whose close relatives suffered from the disease, must have PSA tests every year from the age of 45, because the disease develops very quickly – it can metastasize within a few months, and unfortunately not. specific symptoms that would suggest its onset. The disease can only be detected with the PSA test. Therefore, it is very important to check in time.

“We will find out how many cases will be neglected due to quarantine next year when we get data from the Cancer Registry. However, now you can see that people come to us later for other urological conditions due to emergency care – if previously feverish patients came to us in a few days, now – in a week. The entire service chain began to run slower, the professor notes.

Order number. 289978

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