Serkan Alan / DUVAR
An expert oncologist from the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) said that the restriction of diagnostic work in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause a "cancer pandemic" in the future.
The COVID-19 pandemic has averted people to healthcare institutions, with many patients avoiding going to a hospital as much as possible, Halis Yerlikaya said.
"We've noted that many people with cancer symptoms or indications avoid going to healthcare institutions because they're scared of contracting coronavirus," Yerlikaya said.
The fact that community healthcare centers can't run cancer diagnostics adds to the low rate of early diagnoses in the country, Yerlikaya added.
"It'll be inevitable to observe a higher rate of late diagnoses in coming years," Yerlikaya said.
Breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer are examples of the types of cancer that occur often and are possible to diagnose early, the expert noted, adding that Turkey doesn't practice routine scans common enough.