This is an update to our earlier report on the impact of the pandemic on cancer services and outcomes, and possible routes to recovery (read the full report here). Now that full data on the first wave has been released, we are providing our updated analysis.
Our earlier analysis accurately projected that the first COVID-19 wave would last between three and six months, which we estimated would result in 3,600 to 7,200 excess cancer deaths. We concluded that recovering the backlog and resuming cancer services would require significant work. These estimates were based on a larger drop in urgent referrals, as was the case at the time of writing the first report. The updated estimates that we provide in the current report on the five observed months of disruption corresponding to the first COVID wave, with the updated drop in referrals, fall in line with our original predictions. The same applies to the estimates on number of excess cancer deaths, changes in survival rates and anticipated stage distribution at diagnosis.