Cumbrian MP warns far more people could die of cancer than Covid if treatment backlog continues

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on the Prime Minister to intervene in what he called a 'cancer crisis' with a backlog of cancelled treatment.

The latest figures from NHS England reveal that in April 2021, just 52% from cancer patients in the Morcambe Bay area started their treatment within 62 days o an urgent GP referral.

This was the second lowest rate in the country.

Tim Farron, who is MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale says he has met with government advisors to highlight his concerns about cancer treatment delays and said advisors understood the scale of the problem.

The Liberal Democrat MP said the reality of the desperate situation is that around 40,000 people with cancer have not been treated and in some cases may not have been diagnosed with cancer.

The level of success from treatment can often hang on early detection of cancer, and Tim Farron warns that many patients will miss a chance to get an early diagnosis, meaning their treatment options may be far more limited by the time the finally see a doctor.

He is urging the government to avoid scaling back cancer service which could cause a bottleneck and backlog to treatment.

He is raising the issue to avoid more people potentially dying from cancer than Covid.

A government spokeswoman said: “Cancer diagnosis and treatment has remained a top priority throughout the pandemic. The majority of patients referred by a GP see a cancer specialist within two weeks and since the pandemic began, over two million urgent referrals have taken place and over 570,000 people have been receiving treatment."