“Next year more than 500 additional cancer deaths impact corona ‘

The temporary shutdown of the breast cancer because of the corona crisis and rising waiting times, costs more than five hundred women coming years life. It calculated the Alexander Monro Hospital in Bilthoven.

The screening with women from the age of fifty are invited to have their breast cancer stop put on March 16 was. Next week will be partially resumed screening again. Preliminary RIVM calls fifty percent of the originally planned number of women.

During the period that the population had stopped, three months, approximately 250,000 women are not checked for breast cancer. As a result, an estimated 5575 women not referred to hospital. This backlog will ultimately lead to more than five hundred additional deaths expected director Marjolein de Jong of the Hospital Alexander Monro in Bilthoven.


Its estimate is based on the existing information about the screening. The RIVM calculated earlier that breast cancer annually prevents 800 to 1,000 deaths. “We assume that the capacity of the screening to the end of the year continues to fifty percent. This backlog can not just take longer, which may result in additional deaths over the next five to ten years. ”

And according to De Jong even an underestimation. “Before the crisis faced corona regions Noord Holland, Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, Zeeland and Flevoland already disadvantaged, giving women an average of three months longer had to wait for their breast cancer control.” Early detection of breast cancer, according to her severe treatment or prevent death.

Each year about 3,000 women die from breast cancer. Hospital Director De Jong is also concerned about the backlog of operations, where virtually all hospitals because of the corona crisis may face. “Hospitals have had months less capacity. Fortunately, breast cancer patients again rightly, already at capacity increase will still be a problem. Much remains unknown, but the concern we have is clear: let us do everything to prevent worse. ”


The RIVM admits that the temporary suspension of the program can cost additional lives. “The consequences will be substantial. This concern we share, “said Nynke van der Veen, Acting Head at the Center for Population RIVM. “But you can not just a number on a napkin letter,” van der Veen said on the calculation of the hospital in Bilthoven. “There are still too many uncertainties. We do not know how long this crisis will last. It could, for example, we already can do more invitations from the door in a few months. ” Every year 1.3 million women are invited. One million late actually screening. “What we do not know: the women come back to the screening program, or keep them at home for fear of contagion? And lead a subsequent diagnosis and treatment actually to death, or have these women despite heavy treatment is still a good prognosis? These are long-term effects that we know only about five to ten years. ”

The RIVM says to evaluate screening the end of the year. In the meantime, she called on women who have been invited to keep coming to the mobile research – known mammography buses. Van der Veen: “We are doing everything to ensure the safety of the clients. We provide additional personal protection measures, other walking routes, fewer classroom, and so on. Fear of contamination is not necessary. ”

General practitioner

The Alexander Monro Hospital calls on women to complaints to the doctor. In recent months, many women stayed home for fear of contagion. “Let not just a bump, which is just one of the signs that something may be wrong. Please also include dents, an inverted nipple, a red or orange-like skin, “says director De Jong.

She calls on hospitals to the treatment capacity where possible expand, and if necessary to one another by reference. “We have expanded our capacity in Bilthoven and Weert.”

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