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Te Aho o Te Kahu COVID and cancer services report to end October released

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

With the recent re-emergence of COVID-19 in our community, Te Aho o Te Kahu, the Cancer Control Agency has once again began to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnostic and treatment services. I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge how hard the cancer sector has been working to make sure cancer diagnosis and treatment can continue across the different COVID-19 settings.

Our third report ( available on our website) includes DHB data up until the end of October 2021. The report looks at the number of cancer diagnoses and treatments to end of October 2021, compared to the same time period in the previous year/s to understand if 2021 COVID-19 lockdown has impacted cancer diagnosis and treatment, and created or exacerbated inequities.

Report summary:

The dip in cancer registrations seen during August 2021 has resolved.

There was some nationwide disruption to bronchoscopy procedures. Te Aho o Te Kahu is looking into this.

Publicly funded cancer treatment - including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy - continued across the Auckland region from August to October 2021.

The disruption to gastrointestinal endoscopy procedures identified in previous reports for the Auckland region has resolved.

Radiation therapy volumes in the Auckland region follow a similar pattern to that seen across New Zealand, with an overall decrease in volumes. For Māori, there appears to be a greater decrease in radiation therapy volumes between October 2021 and October 2018/19. Te Aho o Te Kahu is looking into this.

While we are pleased to see services have largely continued, we acknowledge whānau with cancer may have been impacted in significant ways by COVID-19, including by changes to the way care has been delivered.

DHBs - please share this report with your data, endoscopy, surgical and cancer teams, and pass on our thanks for all they are doing for whānau with cancer.

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