Urgent warning Thousands of Britons face deadly delay in cancer diagnosis backlog

CANCER’s survival is now “real in jeopardy” “going into reverse,” MPs have warned.

A scathing report claims more than 340,000 Britons are facing a diagnosis of a much deadlier late-stage tumor due to critical staff shortages.

Cancer survival rates threaten to be reversed as 340,000 Brits face delayed diagnoses


Cancer survival rates threaten to be reversed as 340,000 Brits face delayed diagnosesPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

The inquiry claims a key government pledge to catch three out of four cases early is now in disarray in the wake of the pandemic.

And warns the UK is still lagging behind other big developed nations like Canada and Australia in tackling the disease – with no “evidence” of catching up.

With some Britons still reluctant to come forward in the wake of the Covid crisis and ongoing treatment delays, former Health Sec Jeremy Hunt says “many more lives will almost certainly end prematurely”.

The Chair of the Commons’ Health Select Committee said: “Earlier cancer diagnosis is key to improving overall survival rates, but progress is being jeopardized by staff shortages that threaten both diagnosis and treatment.

“We do not believe the NHS is on track to meet the government’s 2028 target for early detection of cancer.

“We are further concerned about the detrimental and prolonged impact of the pandemic on cancer care, with a real risk that advances in cancer survival will be reversed.”

Experts warn that timely treatment of the disease is the key to improving outcomes.

Officials want three out of four of all cases to be diagnosed early by 2028.

Currently, only half are identified at stage one or two.

Colorectal cancer patients have a 90 percent survival rate if their disease is caught early.

But it drops to just ten percent when picked up later.

Earlier this year, Sajid Javid vowed to make Britain’s cancer survival rate “the best in Europe” after declaring war on the disease.

The health secretary wants a radical 10-year plan to speed up detection and improve outcomes.

dr Ian Walker, Executive Director of Policy at Cancer Research UK, said: “This report underscores the impact of the Government’s continued failure to address the chronic shortage of NHS staff on people affected by cancer.

“We need a cancer plan that works for everyone.”

Leading oncologist Professor Pat Price called for urgent action to tackle the backlog.

She said: “Britain was at the bottom of the cancer league before the pandemic and despite the heroic efforts of frontline workers, the COVID-induced backlog has pushed us towards a complete collapse.

“This report reveals a national cancer crisis caused by a lack of urgency to fund solutions to the cancer backlog.

“This is a crisis that should be high on the Prime Minister’s list of priorities.”

A spokesman for NHS England said: “Cancer is a priority for the NHS and has been throughout the pandemic – and we have continued to introduce new ways of diagnosing cancer earlier.

“We have had record high referrals for cancer screening in the last 11 months.

“By investing £3.8 billion in increased treatment and diagnostic capacity through the Elective Recovery Plan, we want to ensure we detect and treat more cancers at an early stage and save even more lives.”

The 10 Cancer Signs You Should Never Ignore

There are over a hundred different types of cancer.

While some symptoms are specific, there are a handful that are more general or most common in cancer patients.

Having any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have the disease.

But it’s always worth checking with your GP as soon as possible.

  1. Unexplained weight loss
  2. Unusual swellings or lumps such as in the neck, armpit, stomach, groin, chest, chest, or testicles
  3. Cough that is persistent and does not go away after three or four weeks
  4. Mole changes – look for changes in size, shape, or color of existing or new growths
  5. blood in your stool or urine, or changes in your bowel habits
  6. Pee problems, like dribbling or waking up in distress at night
  7. Unexplained pain or pain that lasts more than four weeks
  8. Heartburn that doesn’t seem to go away
  9. difficulties swallowing
  10. Heavy night sweats Urgent warning Thousands of Britons face deadly delay in cancer diagnosis backlog

Tom Vazquez

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