Lung cancer death rates increased by nearly 100 percent during pandemic lockdowns

Last month, I told you about how the U.S. government’s hysterical overreaction to the coronavirus pandemic caused a 75 percent reduction in the number of cancer screenings in the Boston, MA-area between March and June 2020.  

I feared that this lapse in screenings would cause a serious backslide in the “war on cancer.” Especially when it came to lung cancer—the No. 1 cancer killer in the U.S. 

Well, I’m sad to say, that day of reckoning has begun. And we’ve started to see the consequences of that stark overreaction 

According to a new study conducted in Spain (a country hit hard and early by the pandemic), they’ve already experienced massive spike in lung cancer death rates as a result of the decreased screenings during the lockdowns. 

I’ll tell you all about those grim findings in a moment. But first, let’s back up to explore why the pandemic’s effect on lung cancer is particularly tragic 

We HAD been making real progress against lung cancer 

Between 2017 to 2018, the U.S. experienced a modest 2 percent reduction in the total number of annual cancer deaths. (Yes, after pouring 60 years and trillion dollars into fighting the “war on cancer,” all they could claim was a 2 percent reduction in total cancer deaths.)  

However, as I reported here beforethat modest improvement resulted almost entirely from advances in detecting and treating lung cancer specifically….  

In fact, between 2017 and 2018, the outcomes for other common cancers remained stagnant. But lung cancer deaths alone dropped by an impressive 16 percent during that time…mostly thanks to the screening approach called low-dose computed tomography (LDCT)which I began recommending seven years ago. 

Initially, when LDCT first came out, most mainstream cancer experts ridiculeddismissed, or mocked it. One expert at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) even claimed, without any evidence, that it really doesn’t matter whether the LDCT screening works. He explainedpatients at risk for lung cancer wouldn’t bother to get screened, since they don’t care about their health anyway! 

(Public health experts seem very concerned about fighting disparities and discrimination in healthcare and health outcomes. But if theyre looking to find some real discrimination in healthcare, with direct and deadly consequences, they need look no further than how they treat smokers and lung cancer victims! Especially when you consider how both mainstream doctors and “natural-know-it-alls” don’t say much more than “don’t smoke”when, as you and I both know, there is so much more to say about lung health!) 

Eventually, in 2015, the American College of Chest Physicians begarecommending the new LDCT screening. And, as I reported, the Lahey Clinic in the Boston area became an early national leader in offering it.  

In my view, the LDCT screening works so well because it uses technology that detects lung cancer tumors at an early stagewhen theyre still small, local, and can be surgically removed and treated.  

But prolonged coronavirus shutdowns caused many people to delay or completely skip their routine lung cancer screenings. And when real, deadly cancers arent detected, diagnosed, and treated early enough, theyre far deadlier than the coronavirus 

Not to mention, with respect to lung cancer specifically, it looks like we may completely lose that recent 16 percent improvement in death rates…that is, if the U.S. follows the same pattern as Spain… 

Spain sees major backslide in cancer deaths 

As you may recall, Spain was hit early and hard by the pandemic. And the country may serve as the canary in the coalmine, so to speak, predicting poor outcomes for the rest of the world. 

For the new study, researchers analyzed data on new lung cancer cases diagnosed from:  

  • January to June 2019 (before the pandemic)  
  • January to June 2020 (during the pandemic) 

Of the 162 patients with newly detected lung cancers, 100 were found during the 2019 period, but only 62 were found during the 2020 period. That’s a decrease of 38 percent 

There was also a 36 percent decrease in detecting new, non-small cell lung cancers (the deadlier form of lung cancer) and a 42 percent decrease in detecting new small cell lung cancers. 

There was also an increase in lung cancer deaths after the pandemic started. Which is the number to which we should pay the most attention. Because mortality (death) rate is the one figure that cancer statisticians can’t mess with and manipulate. Either a person dies or they don’t. 

Specifically, the mortality rate for non-small cell lung cancer increased from 25 percent to 49 percentThat’s nearly a 100 percent increase! And for small cell lung cancer, it increased from 18 percent to 32 percent. (Again, nearly a 100 percent increase.) 

In a recent interview, a lung cancer patient said, “it’s extremely worrisome that COVID-19 has led to delay in cancer diagnoses, with increasing numbers of patients presenting with more advanced disease and higher symptom burden. Imagine that you have a cough that just won’t go away…that cough could be an early indication of lung cancer”—yet all the attention is focused on coronavirus and contagion. 

She continued, “it took me six months constantly pushing for answers to get a completely unexpected lung cancer diagnosis. I might have believed my primary care physician, who told me that I was just getting older at 47…” 

This is a stark reminder of how fleeting and fragile it is to declare victory against cancer—at least using the flawed and failed approaches of the mainstream, crony, corporatist cancer industry. And it emphasizes the importance of being your own advocate. 

Ask for LDCT screening by name 

In the end, if you or someone you know is at risk of developing lung cancer, ask for LDCT screening by name. Then, make sure you keep up with regular screenings…no matter the current state of panic about the pandemic.(Remember, lung cancer is far deadlier lung disease than coronavirus ever could be!) 

You can also learn about the many natural steps you can take to help protect your lung health in myBreathe Better Lung Health Protocol. 

This unique, innovative, online protocol is the sum total of more than 40 years of personal research, study, and experience. And every solution you’ll hear about has been studied and researched by countless, cutting-edge medical institutions. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here now!  


Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic in the Diagnosis and Prognosis of Lung Cancer.” Presented at: 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer Singapore; January 28-31; Virtual. Abstract 3700.