The CINTESIS researcher Rui Amaral Mendes, a world specialist in Oral Oncology and Maxillofacial Surgery, has published an article in which he reveals great concern regarding the delays in cancer diagnosis in the Indian population, following the limitations imposed by COVID-19.
The research article “Decreased Cancer Consultations in the COVID-19 Era: A Concern for Delay in Early Cancer Diagnosis in India”, written in collaboration with scientists from India, the UK, and the US, has been published in the JCO – Journal of Clinical Oncology, da American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Rui Amaral Mendes, who is also a professor of Maxillofacial and Oral Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, in Ohio (USA), is concerned about the total or almost total interruption of cancer screening programs in India, both private and public.
Following the imposition of lockdown, new consultations at India’s 24 existing cancer centers dropped by about 49%. But even after the confinement orders were lifted, there continued to be a gradual reduction in new consultations of around 12%.
Rui Amaral Mendes highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have increased the impact of previously existing social disparities. According to the researcher, “the order to stay at home in densely populated areas of that country has affected segments of the population known to share an increased risk of COVID-19, and also of head and neck cancer.”
“Individuals with suspicious lesions should be encouraged to see a doctor and the authorities should be supported in conducting and disseminating public awareness programs,” urges the Portuguese scientist.
Besides being a researcher at CINTESIS, in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Porto, and a professor at Case Western Reserve University, Rui Amaral Mendes is a professor at the Tehran University of Medical Sciences, an Associate Editor of the British Medical Journal – Case Reports and of the Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine, a member of the Editorial Board of Oral Diseases, and a Fellow of the International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and of the International Academy of Oral Oncology, as well as a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.