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Found 46 results
  1. News Article
    The NHS must ensure cancer-surgery delays do not cost more lives than the number of COVID-19 patients saved, the Institute of Cancer Research says. In some cancers, a three-month delay could make the difference between a tumour being curable or not, Prof Clare Turnbull said. And her modelling suggested delaying surgery risked thousands of additional deaths. NHS England is already urging people to seek help for worrying symptoms, but by the end of April, cancer referrals had dropped by an estimated 70%. Cancer doctors have told BBC News of having to make difficult decisions to postpone some patients' care during the coronavirus crisis. As normal service resumed, the NHS should prioritise "certain cancer types in particular", Prof Turnbull said. Lung and colorectal cancers, for example, were particularly fast moving. But for others, such as prostate and certain breast cancers, treatment could more safely be delayed. Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 May 2020
  2. News Article
    Suspected cancer patients are being refused hospital appointments despite being referred by GPs, it has emerged. Family doctors working for one NHS trust in north east London claimed that hundreds of referrals had been rejected in recent weeks. Many were for ultrasounds and chest X-rays and were sent via the two-week wait system, in which suspected cancer patients referred by GPs are seen within a fortnight. A rejection letter sent from Whipps Cross hospital seen by Pulse magazine, said the referral had been “due to the Covid-19 pandemic”. It added: “Following triage by a consultant radiologist, your imaging request has been assessed as non-urgent and cancelled.” Read full story Source: The Telegraph (18 May 202)
  3. News Article
    Tens of thousands of cancer patients have not yet received letters advising them to “shield” themselves from the coronavirus threat, The Times has learnt. Peter Johnson, national clinical director for cancer, has written to charities asking for their help in tracing the missing patients and alerting them to the need to take stringent self-protection measures against infection. His appeal comes as the government increased by one million its estimate of the number of people at greatest risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19. Its new strategy document stated that it had identified 2.5 million people who were “clinically extremely vulnerable and advised to shield”. At the onset of the lockdown in March, ministers estimated the number at 1.5 million. Professor Johnson’s letter, seen by The Times, states: “We are still receiving reports of cancer patients who believe that they should have received a shielding letter but have not yet received one or have not been added to the national list. It is crucial that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable receive a letter advising them to shield. Read full story Source: The Times, 12 May 2020
  4. News Article
    A Nottingham mum recovering from breast cancer surgery said she 'hates to think' what could have happened, if she had let the cancer go undetected. Claire Knee, 45 of Beeston, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March shortly before lockdown measures were introduced. Having felt slightly off and noticing lumps in her breast, she was encouraged to contact her GP who referred her for tests. After a serious of diagnostic tests at Nottingham City Hospital's Breast Institute, specialists confirmed the presence of a tumour in the early stages. Surgeons successfully removed the tumour from her right breast amid the pandemic and Claire has been recommended some follow up treatment. She now wants to share her experience of seeking help and getting treatment to advise others who may be showing signs of cancer but are too scared to contact their GP. "Looking back I just think that if I hadn’t made the call to my GP I would be walking around with undetected breast cancer, which could still be growing now. I would urge anyone in similar circumstances to contact their GP and get checked - even if it’s just for peace of mind.” Read full story Source: Nottinghamshire Live, 4 May
  5. News Article
    The coronavirus pandemic could lead to almost 18,000 more deaths from cancer in England over the next year and there could also be a 20% spike in fatalities of newly diagnosed cancer patients, according to research by University College London (UCL) and DATA-CAN, the Health Data Research Hub for Cancer. The figures stem from real-time hospital data for urgent cancer referrals and chemotherapy attendances, which have experienced a 76% and 60% fall, respectively. Professor Peter Johnson, the NHS Clinical Director for Cancer, has urged people to not hesitate in seeking help or being checked after worrying research showed nearly half of the public have concerns about seeking help. Moreover, the poll by Portland revealed 1 in 10 people would not contact their GP even if they discovered a lump or a new mole that remained for a week or more. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 April 2020
  6. News Article
    Delays in diagnosing and treating people with cancer could lead to more years of lost life than with COVID-19, according to a leading cancer expert. A drop-off in screening and referrals means roughly 2,700 fewer people are being diagnosed every week, Cancer Research UK says. Cancer screening has paused in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, with few invitations sent out in England. People are still advised to contact their GP with worrying symptoms. But Richard Sullivan, professor of cancer and global health at King's College London, said there was more fear of Covid-19 than of having cancer at the moment. With GPs more difficult to contact than normal, this was resulting in a "dramatic drop-off" in referrals to specialists, he said. "Most modellers in the UK estimate excess of deaths is going to be way greater than we are going to see with Covid-19," he said. Read full story Source: 22 April 2020, BBC News
  7. News Article
    Cancer doctors say difficult decisions are having to be made to postpone some patients' care during the coronavirus crisis. Some treatments such as chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, and potentially put patients at greater risk from COVID-19. Some of those affected have been expressing concern. Roisin Pelan is 38 and lives in Lancashire. She has incurable breast cancer and had been taking chemotherapy tablets every day. Every three months she also visits the hospital to receive the drug intravenously. Last month she was told her chemotherapy treatment would be stopped for 12 weeks. "It's terrifying they've stopped treatment that I know is keeping me alive," she says. "To have that taken away is just unbearable. How do we know it's only going to be 12 weeks? This pandemic could go on a lot longer." NHS England has told trusts that all essential and urgent cancer treatments must continue but specialists should discuss with patients whether it is riskier for them to undergo it or delay. Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 April 2020
  8. News Article
    Nick has terminal bowel cancer. He’s been told he won't receive chemotherapy for three months because it would put him more at risk of the coronavirus. He fears having the treatment taken away would shorten his life. Current NHS guidelines say cancer specialists should discuss with their patients whether it is riskier for them to undergo or to delay treatment at this time. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 April 2020
  9. News Article
    A woman with brain cancer has been told her chemotherapy has stopped because of the coronavirus outbreak. Nancy Carter-Bradley, 44, from Hampshire, said the health secretary should ring-fence cancer treatment. She said her treatment at a London hospital had paused as it was at full capacity and oncologists were helping with the response to coronavirus. Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust said it was "exploring use of private healthcare facilities". Mrs Carter-Bradley, from Penwood, said she had been dealing with "unbelievable stress" since she was informed her chemotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital for stage three brain cancer would be paused. Read full story Source: BBC News, 26 March 2020
  10. News Article
    Delays have begun to cancer treatments, as patients are reprioritised ahead of capacity becoming overwhelmed by the coronavirus crisis. In three separate developments: A London trust announced it was cancelling chemotherapy and routine cancer operations for a fortnight due to coronavirus pressure; An NHS England covid-19 guidance document indicated palliative care cancer patients will be less likely to receive appropriate treatment; and Cancer waiting times guidance has been changed to provide for some urgent referrals for suspected cancer to be sent back to GPs without diagnosis. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 23 March 2020
  11. News Article
    New guidelines have been published to help doctors and nurses decide how to prioritise patients during the coronavirus pandemic. The advice from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) was produced amid concerns that the NHS would be overwhelmed by the demand for intensive care beds and ventilators. The three new NICE guidelines, which have been drawn up within a week rather than the usual timescale of up to two years, cover patients needing critical care, kidney dialysis and cancer treatment. They say all patients admitted to hospital should still be assessed as usual for frailty “irrespective of Covid-19 status”. Decisions about admitting patients to critical care should consider how likely they are to recover, taking into account the likelihood of recovery “to an outcome that is acceptable to them”. Doctors are advised to discuss possible “do not resuscitate” decisions with adults who are assessed as having increased frailty, such as those who need help with outside activities or are dependent for personal care. Read full story Source: Independent, 22 March 2020
  12. News Article
    A doctor who worked at the same private healthcare firm as rogue breast surgeon Ian Paterson has been suspended, it has emerged. Spire Healthcare said Mike Walsh – a specialist in trauma and orthopaedic surgery – was suspended in April 2018 over concerns about patient treatment. Almost 50 of his patients from its Leeds hospital had been recalled. The details emerged following an independent inquiry into Paterson, who is serving a 20-year jail sentence. Earlier this month, an inquiry into the breast surgeon found that a culture of "avoidance and denial" had allowed him to perform botched and unnecessary operations on hundreds of women. Spire said in a statement that it acted after concerns were raised about Mr Walsh's work at its hospital in Leeds in 2018. The company, which contacted the Royal College of Surgeons to assist with its investigation, said it had reviewed the notes of fewer than 200 patients, of which "fewer than 50" had been invited back for a follow-up appointment. "Where we have identified concerns about the care a patient received, we have invited the patient to an appointment with an independent surgeon to review their treatment," a spokesman for Spire Healthcare said. "This is a complex case and the review is ongoing." It said that Mr Walsh, who was immediately suspended after the concerns were raised, was no longer working with Spire Healthcare. The company said any patients at its Spire Leeds Hospital who had concerns about their treatment under Mr Walsh should contact the hospital. It said its findings had also been shared with the Care Quality Commission and the General Medical Council (GMC). Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 February 2020
  13. News Article
    Smartphone apps designed to detect the risk of skin cancer are poorly regulated and “frequently cannot be relied upon to produce accurate results”, according to a new analysis. They found the apps may cause harm from failure to identify potentially deadly skin cancers, or from over-investigation of false positive results such as removing a harmless mole unnecessarily. Read full story Source: Digital Health, 14 February 2020