Cancer patients are in “limbo” as surgery and treatment is cut back to help hospitals cope with the surge in coronavirus patients.
One hospital in east London – Queen’s Hospital – has suspended all routine cancer surgery and chemotherapy for at least two weeks.
Bradley Pugh’s dad was given 12 months to live, but his operation in Leeds has now been cancelled.
He told ITV News: “Dad deserves that operation still, even with what’s going on in the world…it would mean the world to all of us as a family, it gives dad a chance to survive and live the rest of his life with my mum.”
Doctors have said some lives will be lost which previously would been saved, as NHS Trusts are overwhelmed with coronavirus patients.
Dr Clive Peedell, NHS consultant clinical oncologist, said: “The mortality rate from cancer will go up, what percentage I can’t say, I would say a minimum of 5% increase in cancer mortality, but that’s speculation.”
Beth Purvis is another cancer patient whose operation has been cancelled – she was due to have a lung tumour removed – but now faces an agonising and indefinite wait.
She told ITV News: “The uncertainty with cancer is bad enough, and then having this thrown into the mix.
“I just feel completely lost and totally in limbo right now.”
More than 360,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Britain every year, but it’s hoped many of those who require urgent treatment will now be seen at private clinics after a deal was struck with the NHS.
But as the coronavirus continues to spread, it now seems inevitable that its casualties will include those fighting a different disease altogether.
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