The COVID-19 collateral: 'Cancer has been a little bit forgotten about'

“I think that cancer has been a little bit forgotten about,” Deborah told podcast host Kate Thornton. It's absolutely ridiculous.” Lauren agreed, saying that COVID-19 had dwarfed cancer, even though it’s still very much a very real threat for many people. She, along with her clinical team, decided that COVID-19 posed more of a risk than her cancer, so temporarily suspended treatment. “You have to make decisions, and we made the decision that actually, we would try to delay my treatment - would give me a bit of a break - and just to kind of take me off treatment.” Unfortunately for Deborah, this lack of treatment resulted in the re-emergence of her tumour markers, which inform clinicians if the cancer is on the move again. “The good news is that it's three weeks later, in theory, it’s back to where we need it to be,” she told Kate. “It's the only time I leave my house, and that's what's so scary.” Even though our current attention is focused on recognising symptoms of coronavirus, the pair say it’s never been more important to pay attention to your body and understand what the symptoms of cancer are. “If people aren't getting these symptoms and signs checked, then they will rapidly decline,” said Lauren. “It's claimed that scientists are kind of estimating that the death toll could rise by another 20% over the next year,” Deborah stated. Essentially, cancer will end up being the COVID collateral, and we don't want that to happen.” Lauren says it’s vital to use this time when we’re at home more to pay attention to any changes in your body.  “If you are still having symptoms that you are aware are a cancer symptom, you should probably get them checked out,” she told Kate.