But the precise impact of delays from diagnosis to receipt of treatment on mortality has not been thoroughly analysed.
Therefore, a team of researchers from Queen's University in Canada carried out a review and analysis of relevant studies into the subject published between January 2000 and April 2020.
These studies had data on surgical interventions, systemic therapy (such as chemotherapy), or radiotherapy for seven forms of cancer - bladder, breast, colon, rectum, lung, cervix, and head and neck - that together, represent 44 per cent of all incident cancers globally.
Their main outcome measure was the risk to overall survival per four-week delay for each indication and delays were measured from diagnosis to first treatment, or from the completion of one treatment to the start of the next.
They found 34 suitable studies for 17 types of conditions that needed to be treated (indications) involving more than 1.2 million patients, collectively.
The association between delay and increased mortality was significant for 13 of these 17 indications.
"Analysis of the results showed that across all three treatment approaches, a treatment delay of four weeks was associated with an increase in the risk of death," the study authors wrote.
For surgery, this was a 6-8 per cent increase in the risk of death for every four-week treatment delay whereas the impact was even more marked for some radiotherapy systemic treatments.
In addition, the researchers calculated that delays of up to eight weeks and 12 weeks and found further increased in the risk of death.
"A four-week delay in treatment is associated with an increase in mortality across all common forms of cancer treatment, with longer delays being increasingly detrimental," the study authors noted.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.
As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.
Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.