the campaign blue november Promotes awareness of prostate cancer and highlights the dangers of lack of medical care in men.
Data from the Ministry of Health shows that in the period covid-19 pandemic, which began in March 2020, there has been a 21.5% reduction in surgeries to remove prostate cancer by the Unified Health System (SUS). The data is the result of a comparison between 2019 and 2020.
Other actions that allow Cancer diagnosis It also showed a decrease in period. The completion rate for the supplementary exam, called the PSA, was down 27%. A biopsy, which consists of removing portions of prostate tissue for analysis, showed a reduction of 21%.
The number of urology consultations at SUS also decreased by 33.5%. actually Acceptance of patients With the diagnosis of the disease decreased by 15.7%.
According to the president of the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU), Antonio Carlos Pompeo, the fear of infection and the orientation of health services to confront Covid-19 explain the decrease in the number of consultations and the decrease in surgeries and other procedures.
“In this pandemic, hospitals and clinics have essentially shifted to taking care of Covid-19, at the expense of other diseases. People, due to social distancing, have had a hard time seeking care. They no longer want to move around so much that they don’t come into contact with people in hospitals,” says Pompeo. In addition, hospitals were short of vacancies because they were destined for other diseases. The total of this has resulted in fewer consultations, which means fewer examinations, biopsies and treatment,” he continues.
According to a survey conducted by the Brazilian Urological Society, Appointments with urologists remain low in 2021. As of July, 1,812,982 consultations were conducted. In 2019, 4,232,293 consultations were performed, and in 2020, 28,16,326 consultations were performed.
The states that showed the largest decrease in prostate biopsy between 2019 and 2020 were Acre (90%), Mato Grosso (69%) and Rio Grande do Norte (50%). Countries like Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais The reductions were 39% and 31%, respectively.
Regarding PSA testing, significant decreases were recorded in Paraíba (50%), Pernambuco (37%), Federal District (34%), Rio de Janeiro (30%) and São Paulo (29%).
Increased death rate
NS Prostate cancer It is most common in men, with the exception of non-melanoma skin cancer. According to estimates by the National Cancer Institute (Inca), about 65,000 new cases are expected in the country in 2021.
Specialists warn that a decrease in the search for medical care and examinations could increase the number of undiagnosed cases.
“We missed the right moment to diagnose so many people during the pandemic. We should diagnose prostate cancer when it has no symptoms. Our goal is early diagnosis, we don’t have a preventive measure for this type of cancer,” Pompeo emphasizes.
According to data from the Mortality Information System (SIM), deaths from prostate cancer have increased by about 10% in five years, rising from 14,542 deaths in 2015 to 16,033 victims in 2019.
Effects of the epidemic
One study Conducted by researchers at the University of São Paulo (USP) has shown that in Brazil, more than a million surgeries have been canceled or postponed, including surgeries for prostate cancer.
The research, published in the scientific journal The Lancet Regional Health – Americas, points to the increasing backlog of surgical procedures as a result of Covid-19-induced changes in the capacity of health care systems. Postponing elective surgeries, with the aim of directing medical resources to patients with Covid-19, has increased the procedures bottleneck.
According to the article, the postponement or cancellation of more than one million surgeries in the country’s public health system led to a backlog of elective surgeries that reached 900,000 cases.
President of the Brazilian Urological Association, Antonio Carlos Pompeo, advises men to resume their routine health care and regular medical appointments.
“It is very important for men to have access to information and routine appointments and also to receive a diagnosis. This doctor’s trip will cause a long-term delay in diagnosis,” Pompeo says.
Throughout November, the Brazilian Society of Urology (SBU) held series of actions Focusing on male health care.
Several monuments will be illuminated in blue, including the Estaiada Bridge and Viaduto do Chá in São Paulo.
The campaigns aim to change behavior by raising awareness of the need for health care. Many diseases, including prostate cancer, do not cause any symptoms in their early stages. For this reason, regular exams are important, even if you don’t feel anything,” said Dr. Alfredo Canalini, SBU’s Secretary General.
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