The Breast Health Center in Lille. - M.Libert / 20 Minutes

  • The coronavirus crisis led to a drop in consultations for other pathologies.
  • Delays in diagnosing female cancers can have dramatic consequences.
  • The Oscar Lambret center is launching a major campaign to encourage women to return to consult.

Cheers ladies. The coronavirus health crisis led to a drop in consultations for all pathologies that did not concern Covid-19. On several occasions, the Lille University Hospital Center (CHU) had warned of the dangers of late treatment of certain illnesses, insisting that the consultations remained accessible even during confinement. The same observation was made at the Oscar Lambret center in Lille, where cancer is treated. During a press conference on Tuesday, the center stressed the urgent need for women to return to the screening clinic to avoid drama.

"Over the past three months, we have found that two thirds of the patients who should have consulted had not done so," says Dr. Marie-Pierre Chauvet, coordinator of the breast committee at the Oscar Lambret center. This spectacular slowdown in consultations is not to be taken lightly: "For female cancers, lack of screening and therefore early diagnosis, the loss of chance for patients is a reality," insists Professor Eric Lartigau, Director General of the Center. Without wanting to be alarmist, the latter cites calculations made by British oncologists: "They have shown that three months of delay in diagnosis can increase the risk of having an incurable locally advanced tumor of around 20 to 25%. "

"Half of the women are not followed gynecologically"

Especially since Oscar Lambret's specialists fear that some women will wait until the end of the vacation to go see their gynecologists. "We are still on schedule but we must not wait until September," insists Professor Lartigau. It should also be noted that, in the Hauts-de-France region, we are already going far away. "Half of the women are not followed gynecologically while there is however an overincidence and an excess mortality linked to cancer in the region", affirms doctor Marie-Pierre Chauvet.

The Oscar Lambret center therefore wishes to reassure women after the coronavirus health crisis. And the key is screening. "Certain cancers are preventable at least in their serious forms if they are detected early," insists Doctor Delphine Hudry, surgeon gynecologist and oncologist. And, importantly, the earlier the screening, the less the treatment. "In particular, this helps to avoid fertility loss as much as possible," says Dr. Hudry.

So ladies, go to the screening summons. And don't think it only affects older women. "From 25 years for the first smear to 74 years for mammograms," warns Professor Lartigau.


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  • Screening
  • Health
  • Cancer
  • Lille