Covid-19: Cancer Research urges mass testing to enable care to continue during pandemic
International Hospital Federation - IHF
| 5 months ago
Cancer Research UK has called for widespread covid-19 testing to ensure that patients and staff can use new “covid-free” centres and hospitals, currently being developed by the NHS, and to prevent unnecessary deaths.
The covid-19 pandemic has led to thousands of people with cancer in the UK having their treatment stopped or delayed, as services are reconfigured to deal with infections.
More than 3500 UK patients with newly diagnosed cancer are usually treated with surgery, chemotherapy, or radiotherapy each week, and more than 15 000 should have started treatment in the past month, said Cancer Research UK. But treatment rates have fallen by 50% in some parts of the country, and fewer patients have been urgently referred for suspected cancer.
The charity warned that delays to cancer treatment, screening, and diagnosis, as well as decreases in people referred with suspected cancer symptoms, would leave the NHS unable to cope with the large backlog once services reopen.