'Tumour size of a tennis ball': Warning over cancelled cancer screenings during coronavirus lockdown

Tap above to watch video report by Martin Stew

Delayed cancer screenings could be having a devastating impact during lockdown with one charity estimating more than a million cancelled tests in the last four months.

Among those affected was Destiny Wade whose smear test was cancelled in March. Destiny works as a cancer nurse at Great Ormond Street and went to A&E after recognising the symptoms. Three weeks later she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Despite living directly above her GP surgery Destiny couldn’t see a doctor in person as they were following government guidelines. However, had the tumour been found earlier things could have been different.

Destiny Wade

Destiny has Stage 2B cervical cancer and is on a full course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. There wasn’t enough time to freeze her eggs so surgeons moved her ovaries to an area under her ribs.

  • Before the pandemic 1.5 million women were overdue a smear test

  • In the four months of lockdown 1.1 million new tests should have been carried out

  • Charities believe the majority were cancelled. 

Dr Khurum Khan, a Consultant at University College London told Duncan Golestani he was concerned about the impact coronavirus was having on cancer care.