Even a month's delay in cancer treatment raises death risk: study

The findings should be an impetus to minimise delays arising from the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, commentators say

A delay in cancer treatment by as few as four weeks may be sufficient to increase the risk of death by about 10%, a meta-analysis shows.

The risk continues to rise with further delays, the researchers say, prompting calls for wait times for surgery, systemic treatment and radiotherapy to be cut from weeks to days.

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of 34 studies, the team used data from 1.27 million patients with seven forms of cancer — bladder, lung, colon, rectum, breast, cervix, and head