Cancer research estimates that around 70% of cancers are preventable through a healthy lifestyle and early detection. However, according to the German Cancer Aid, adequate medical care has often been delayed due to the corona pandemic.

“If the capacities of the clinics are limited, then you look where you can push,” says Susanne Weg-Remers of the German Cancer Research Centre. Doctors in hospitals are in an “extremely difficult situation”. On the one hand they have the corona patient who would not survive the night without intensive care and on the other the cancer patient whose operation can be postponed. This is the current situation. And that could be problematic.

A few weeks can be decisive

“There are mainly disease situations in which an operation is really necessary within a few weeks so that the chances of recovery do not deteriorate significantly,” says Weg-Remers. “These are weeks of life or death in the long run.” At the same time, it is an extremely stressful situation for patients when they learn that a planned operation is canceled because there is no intensive care bed.

“I think this pandemic has shown very clearly that our healthcare system in Germany is on edge,” says Weg-Remers. Politicians need to consider how this should continue, as demographic developments alone mean that there will be a significant increase in cancer patients over the next ten or twenty years. For that, you need a strong and resilient healthcare system, says Weg-Remers.

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