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Covid’s face of cancer crisis-waiting for a scan to see if it’s a tumor




Sheryl Woods fought an aggressive cancer during the first blockade.

Currently, the second blockade means that she and, in some cases, thousands of other patients will not receive the medical services needed to tell if she has returned.

A woman in Waikato was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in late 2019.

“They had surgery and found that it had completely passed through the lymph nodes under my right arm. My breast lump was only a few centimeters in size, but in six lymph nodes. It was influential. “

A 50-year-old woman did not require a mastectomy but received 6 months of chemotherapy.

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“And I also had 5 weeks of radiation therapy after chemotherapy, and of all that we had the first covid lockdown, so all my radiation therapy had to be done alone. I had to. I can imagine it was a pretty bad time. “

Woods has been taking a drug called tamoxifen for 10 years and needs a mammogram and a specialist appointment every 12 months.

There is an 83% chance that she will be another decade, but an important part is that Covid-19 is putting pressure on the medical system and will undergo annual mammograms and professional examinations.

When Woods contacted Waikato Hospital for an appointment, her second mammogram was delayed and nothing was available.

“I’m sorry I was late, as the reservation clerk told me. I can’t make a reservation …

Sheryl Woods needs a mammogram every year.

Mark Taylor / Staff

Sheryl Woods needs a mammogram every year.

“I explained to her, I have cancer. Her exact word to me was,” 90 percent of the people on the waiting list have cancer. ” ..

Woods Cyber ​​attack on Waikato DHB in May, And the blockade of Covid-19 was the reason for the delay.

“It is no exaggeration to say that I am a little stressed overall.

“They said we could get a mammogram at any time. The problem is, as I understand, an expert who tells me what the mammogram is actually saying is me. It means that you need to sit with.

Waikato DHB did not respond by the deadline.

Woods is worried about how fast her cancer will progress.

“I got a clear mammogram within 12 months before I was diagnosed with cancer, so tell me how fast it works and how a few months of problems can make a big difference. Will give you. “

Sheryl Woods is only worried about her health, but believes that many other women must be missing.

Mark Taylor / Staff

Sheryl Woods is only worried about her health, but believes that many other women must be missing.

The Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that at least 133 women nationwide are unaware that they currently have breast cancer.

The organization has “serious concerns” with women who missed the mammogram that would have been diagnosed during the current blockade of Covid-19.

Waikato DBH was affected by a cyberattack and the blockade of Covid-19 this year (file photo).

Christel Yardley / Stuff

Waikato DBH was affected by a cyberattack and the blockade of Covid-19 this year (file photo).

As both BreastScreen Aotearoa and private clinics deal with long-term blockade fallout, the number of undetected breast cancer cases is expected to increase.

Adel Gotye, research manager at the Breast Cancer Foundation, said access to mammograms was problematic in some areas.

“I’ve heard from people who want to get the first mammogram but can’t, or who can’t book a mammogram because they missed it in Covid.

“And there are people in the follow-up time. It’s a very worrying time … and they’re told they don’t have it, it’s pretty scary to the patient.”

Budget 21 has allocated $ 10 million to a breast screening program for population growth to catch up with breast screening that was overlooked due to the blockade of Covid-19 (file photo).

Louis Vieira / PA Images via Getty

Budget 21 has allocated $ 10 million to a breast screening program for population growth to catch up with breast screening that was overlooked due to the blockade of Covid-19 (file photo).

“It’s really anxious for her because they’re told they don’t know how long the delay is, and they need a plan to get everyone back.

“Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for New Zealand women under the age of 65, so from our point of view, breast cancer should never be put off, especially for those who have already been diagnosed with breast cancer. Or put it aside. “

The Breast Cancer Foundation wants to see an immediate investment to get rid of Covid-related untreated.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said the breast screening schedule was affected by the Covid-19 and Waikato DHB cyberattacks.

The appointment was able to resume from alert level 3.

All available reservation slots are reserved. Additional sessions are planned. This service explores the potential to enhance the ability to screen more women. “

According to the ministry, Budget 21 has allocated $ 10 million to breast screening programs to keep up with population growth and catch up with breast screening that was overlooked by the Covid-19 blockade.

“Additional funding was needed to catch up with women’s appointments for which screening appointments were canceled or postponed.”

The ministry keeps in mind that pre-pandemic rate recovery will take time and long-term goals may be more realistic than short-term catch-ups.

“This catch-up isn’t just about financing. It requires additional professional staff and access to the facility.”




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