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Cancer patients missed out on tests during lockdown, NHS England figures show

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Huge numbers of people with suspected cancer were not referred to hospital for urgent checks or did not have a test during the first month of the lockdown, prompting fears that late diagnosis of the disease will reduce some patients’ chances of survival.

Unprecedented numbers of cancer patients missed out on vital treatments, diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments as the pandemic unfolded, NHS England data shows.

Macmillan Cancer Support estimates that 210,000 people should have entered the system this month. That means roughly 130,000 people who would ordinarily be referred to a consultant have not been. About 7% of these patients would usually require cancer treatment, meaning approximately 9,000 people might not have had their cancer diagnosed in April. 

The organisation said that around 2,500 people who should have been referred for their first treatment after a cancer diagnosis will not have received that treatment.

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Source: The Guardian, 11 June 2020

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