The Italian Association of Medical Oncology reported that as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, in the first 5 months of 2020, approximately one million and four hundred thousand fewer screening tests for cancer were performed in Italy than in the same period of 2019. These neoplasms have not disappeared, but will be identified at a later stage, with lower chances of recovery and, consequently, more resources for treatment.
Delays that result, for example, in a clear reduction in new diagnoses of breast cancer (2,099 fewer) and colorectal cancer (611 fewer), but also lesions that may be a sign of the latter neoplasia (almost 4,000 undiagnosed colorectal adenomas) or cervical cancer (approximately 1,670 CIN 2 lesions or more severe undiagnosed). These neoplasms have not in fact disappeared, but will be identified at a more advanced stage, with consequent lower chances of recovery and the need for greater resources for treatment. According to estimates done by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in the United States, in the next 10 years, there will be about 10,000 more deaths from breast and colorectal cancer, precisely due to the effect of Covid-19 on screening and on treatment. Furthermore, in the United Kingdom, it has been estimated that the diagnostic delay caused by the interruption and slowdown of health services may be the cause of an increase in mortality (compared to the pre-Covid-19 period) in the next 5 years up to 16.6% for colorectal cancers and 9.6% for breast.
Moreover, as statistical information is an important tool for understanding and quantifying the impact of political decisions in a specific territory or region, the Eurostat published the regional yearbook 2020 which provides a detailed picture relating to a broad range of statistical topics across the regions of the EU Member States, as well as the regions of the United Kingdom, the EFTA and candidate countries. More detailed data on this topic are described in the publication.