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Undiagnosed Cancer Cases Surge In Victoria Amid Healthcare Disruptions

Victorian Cancer Registry has revealed a substantial number of Victorians may be living with undiagnosed cancer.

According to estimates from the registry, at least 6,660 Victorians could currently be unaware of their cancer status, a significant surge from the 2021 forecast of 3800 missing cases. 

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The projections, based on modelling of expected cancer diagnoses from 2020 to 2022, have raised alarms among healthcare professionals.

The surge in undiagnosed cases has been attributed to disruptions in healthcare services, with fewer Victorians undergoing cancer screenings or assessments in 2022. 

The ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare access is believed to be a contributing factor.

It is also suggested that some of the unaccounted cases might be individuals who would have developed cancer but succumbed to COVID-19. 

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Cancer Council Victoria chief executive Todd Harper said: “We know that during the pandemic, people put off seeking medical advice and their approach to health changed, only seeking help for serious, acute issues.”

Patients have reported delays in receiving diagnoses, potentially due to disruptions in healthcare services and personal reasons such as cost concerns.

“Many Victorians are continuing to delay or are hesitant to book appointments with their doctor to discuss cancer symptoms or for cancer screening as they believe they will not be able to access a health system that they consider is overburdened.”

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