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Concerns that cancer death rates will rise

Concerns that cancer death rates will rise

Figures collected from the NHS suggest that since “Lockdown #1” tens of thousands fewer people began treatment for cancer compared to normal times.

We know that early detection followed by prompt treatment is crucial to combat the disease and these delays could have a devastating effect on cancer survival rates.

A representative from Cancer Research UK has told the press:

“We could face, in this country today, the prospect of cancer survival reducing for the first time in decades.”

It seems that this is a result of the combination of people delaying GP cancer checks because of COVID and also the difficulties that the NHS has faced prioritising treatments during the height of the pandemic.

It is reported in the press that many cancer patients were recommended to take a break in their treatment due to the risk of catching COVID and, in some cases, this has affected chances of survival.

Many patients and their loved ones are beginning to speak out saying that they feel the UK government has let down cancer patients during this time of crisis.

The governments response to these comments is to stress that they continue to urge people to visit their GP for check ups and explore treatment options following a diagnosis.  A spokesman has said :

“As part of our additional investment in the NHS, an extra £1bn is being used to boost diagnosis and treatment across all areas of elective care in the year ahead.”

They give statistics that through the pandemic there were 1.86m urgent referrals and over 477,000 people receiving cancer treatment between March 2020 and January 2021 but Cancer UK still estimates that is 43,700 fewer than historic figures show.

We receive enquiries regarding delays in diagnosis and treatment for cancer of all types and are experts in providing the advice and support that you or your family member need to consider a potential claim for clinical negligence.

Melanie Lidstone-Land, Head of Clinical Negligence says :

“I have experience of cancer with close friends and family members and I have a special interest in these cases.  A diagnosis like this is devastating and has a huge effect on, not only the patient but families and close friends as well.  Diagnosis needs to be prompt, treatment must be focussed and effective.  If you receive anything less it simply adds to the stress, the fear and potentially alters the outcome.”

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