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Charities warn cancer death rate could rise

A group of 47 cancer charities says that without urgent action, the UK's cancer death rate will rise for the first time in decades.

NHS figures suggest tens of thousands fewer people started cancer treatment since the first lockdown compared to normal times. One Cancer Voice says that the NHS needs more resources.

The government says cancer treatment remains a top priority and urges people to see their GP if they have symptoms.

Radio 1 Newsbeat has spoken exclusively to One Cancer Voice about the impact of coronavirus on cancer care. The group of charities wants to see more staff available to diagnose and treat cancer, with greater NHS access to private facilities in order to "clear the backlog".

"We are calling on the government to invest more money in ensuring the backlog of cancer cases is reduced and eliminated," says Michelle Mitchell, the boss of Cancer Research UK, which heads up One Cancer Voice.

"We could face, in this country today, the prospect of cancer survival reducing for the first time in decades. That's why urgent action is required by the government."

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Source: BBC News, 16 March 2021


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