Covid-19 pandemic may cause a spike in 'rare and unusual' cancers, doctors warn

Doctors across the US are warning that a spike in 'rare and unusual' cancers could come from the Covid-19 pandemic. Here's what you need to know.

doctors US warning rare unusual cancers linked Covid-19 health
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doctors US warning rare unusual cancers linked Covid-19 health

The Covid-19 pandemic caused an array of unforeseen consequences. While lockdowns had an undeniable effect on our collective mental health, long Covid is also causing tragedies in millions of families. As we all try to learn to live with the virus, American doctors issued a warning saying the pandemic may also cause other terrible health issues. Here's what you should know.

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Doctors are seeing a spike in 'rare and unusual cancers'

Since 2021, doctors in the US have been noticing a rise in cancers in people who normally shouldn't suffer from these types of health issues. Patients are usually young and haven't got a family history of cancer. These people are suffering from complications that normally appear in older patients, in their 70s or 80s, such as cholangiocarcinoma, a rare and lethal cancer of the bile ducts.

Doctors also noticed some of their patients can suffer from multiple cancers at the same time. During the Covid-19 pandemic, people were forced to stay at home, which prevented some to go for preventative care measures such as screenings. This could be one of the reasons for this unusual spike.

Covid-19 may be the unlikely culprit

According to Dr. Kashyap Patel, it was something they had never seen before. He told The Washington Post:

I’ve been in practice 23 years and have never seen anything like this.

Dr. Patel and other doctors are urging the US government to research into the effect Covid-19 had on this spike in 'rare and unusual cancers'. Dr. Douglas C. Wallace, a geneticist and evolutionary biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, explained:

We are completely under-investigating this virus. The effects of repeatedly getting this throughout our lives is going to be much more significant than people are thinking.

However, it will probably be years before we can know for sure whether the coronavirus is responsible for these cancers. For now, there is no real scientific explanation linking Covid-19 to other health issues related to cancer, and some experts remain sceptical.

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Sources used:

Daily Mail: 'Rare and unusual cancers' are emerging after the Covid pandemic - and doctors fear an unlikely culprit is to blame

The Washington Post: ‘Unusual’ cancers emerged after the pandemic. Doctors ask if covid is to blame.

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