The Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, which turns 10 months in December, has seen many people avoid hospitals, except in urgent situations. With this, the alert was raised in the Brazilian Society of Dermatology (SBD).
Hospitals are finding that the pandemic is removing skin cancer patients from outpatient offices and clinics, jeopardizing disease diagnosis and, as a result, early treatment.
In 2019, 210,032 skin cancer biopsy requests were ordered between January and September. In 2020, in the same period there was a decrease of 109,525, 48%.
For the SDB president, Sérgio Palma, these figures are part of the “sad legacy” of the pandemic. He recalls that, at the start of the crisis, the health service itself prohibited non-serious patients from unnecessary exposure to the virus. But, after that first moment, the scenario did not change on the patient’s own initiative.
“Then, residents, fearing being contaminated by the virus, started avoiding consultations, even with re-treatment. Managers are not responsible for this scenario, but it is up to them to develop strategies to solve problems. “
There has been a significant drop in demand for this service, between 50% and 60%, across almost all age groups. People 44 to 80 years of age were the ones who failed the most at the dermatological evaluation when comparing periods. For example, among adults between 50 and 54 years of age, the decline was 51%. In 2019 17,017 calls were made, while in 2020 there were 8,287.
This poses additional problems, given the trend that in the coming months there will be a buildup of consultations in the public network, with those who should have left by 2020, apart from others likely to start treatment early. disease.
“The consequences of this problem will be seen in the medium and long term. Patients, by delaying diagnosis and starting treatment, are deprived of the opportunity to effectively reduce the harmful effects that can be caused by skin cancer and, in turn, can lead to the patient’s death. We have to think of a strategy to reduce this gap ”, said SBD Skin Oncology Department coordinator Jade Cury.
Since 2014, SBD has been promoting Orange December, an initiative that is part of the National Skin Cancer Prevention Campaign.
In the last months of this year, measures were carried out in collaboration with public and private agencies to inform the population about the main forms of prevention and seek specialist doctors for diagnosis and treatment.
Source: Agência Brasil