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Coronavirus response could push cancer deaths ahead of COVID-19 deaths

Those protesting restrictive state lockdowns aren't only worried about the economy -- they're also worried about health.

Along with the increased risk of suicide and domestic violence, the COVID-19 response will cause a rapid increase in cancer-related deaths, according to researchers in the UK.

Richard Sullivan, a professor of cancer and global health at King's College London and director of its Institute of Cancer Policy, told Express: "The number of deaths due to the disruption of cancer services is likely to outweigh the number of deaths from the coronavirus itself over the next five years.
"The cessation and delay of cancer care will cause considerable avoidable suffering. Cancer screening services have stopped, which means we will miss our chance to catch many cancers when they are treatable and curable, such as cervical, bowel and breast.
"When we do restart normal service delivery after the lockdown is lifted, the backlog of cases will be a huge challenge to the healthcare system.
"We need an urgent exit strategy and an effective, integrated and intelligent approach to get the lockdown lifted in a controlled manner in order to get time-critical patients like those with cancer back into the system. We need to do this as fast as possible."

Americans will be suffering from the fallout of the COVID-19 response for years, and many of the unintended consequences are impossible to predict. But here's one thing we do know: there's no reason for a state to impose a one-size-fits-all policy on urban and rural communities alike. There's also no reason for the federal government to impose a one-size-fits-all policy on all 50 states.

As we've outlined over at the Convention of States Action website, most states are seeing the majority of their cases in only a few counties. Why not allow the counties seeing a lower number of cases to open up? Governors should at least consider allowing hospitals, many of which are laying off staff due to a lack of funding, to continue to treat cancer patients who desperately need care.

As one doctor put it to the Express, "The risk of not treating many cancer patients is worse than the risk of Covid-19, and the longer the wait for a rapid plan for these patients, the more avoidable deaths we will have due to the lack of treatments for them."

It's time for a return to common sense. We need to re-open our states. Millions are joining the movement, and you can too! We've complied a list of all the re-open groups in your state, which you can access by clicking the red button below.

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