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Fear and trauma - the long waits for cancer care

There has been a sharp rise in long waits for cancer therapy in the past four years, BBC analysis shows.

The number waiting more than the 62-day target time for therapy in the past year has topped 67,000 across England, Northern Ireland and Scotland - twice as many as the same period in 2017-18.

Waits are also getting worse in Wales, but data does not go that far back.

The national cancer director for the NHS in England said staff were striving to catch up on the backlog of care, but experts warned the problems could be putting patients at risk.

Steven McIntosh, of Macmillan Cancer Support, told the BBC that the delays were "traumatic" and people were living "day-by-day with fear and anxiety".

He said the situation was "unacceptable" and could even be having an impact on the chances of survival.

Describing the NHS as "chronically short-staffed", he said: "The NHS doesn't have the staff it needs to diagnose cancer, to deliver surgery and treatment, to provide care, support and rehabilitation."

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Source: BBC News, 9 November 2022


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