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Health workers face a six month battle to clear cancer congestion in the UK caused by the coronavirus pandemic


The country's “terrifying” cancer congestion will only be cleared up if the treatments are used at 135 percent for six months.

The leaders of four cancer-related all-party political groups wrote to the Minister of Health over concerns that an estimated 55,000 cancer patients could die without urgent action.

Research by the Action Radiotherapy charity found that cancer services would have to be at 135 percent capacity for six months to clean up the backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Founder Professor Pat Price has warned that Britain is "past the point of no return" and it is inevitable that patients will die unnecessarily.

A letter co-signed by Tim Farron raised concerns that an estimated 55,000 cancer patients could die without urgent action

The letter was signed by former Liberal Democratic leader Tim Farron, Conservative MP Henry Smith and Labor MPs Tonia Antoniazzi and Mark Tami.

It read: “The reality is that just by the death of patients, the backlog goes away, with no urgent need to catch up with services to catch up.

“Stories left on the campaign website are terrifyingly legible and showcase individual suffering, especially those who die without access to treatment.

"We are concerned that we are nowhere near halfway to clearing this overall traffic jam."

"It is for this reason that we are extremely keen that all opportunities to promote and not just reinstate cancer services are explored."

On September 8, Hancock said in the House of Commons the cancer congestion had halved.

However, activists and politicians believe that the overall cancer congestion is much larger than originally thought.

They claim government estimates do not include people with cancer who have relapsed or been undiagnosed and are still waiting to be diagnosed.

Charity Action Radiotherapy calculated that cancer treatments would have to be performed at 135% for six months to clear the residue caused by the coronavirus pandemic (file photo)

Charity Action Radiotherapy calculated that cancer treatments would have to be performed at 135% for six months to clear the residue caused by the coronavirus pandemic (file photo)

Action for Radiotherapy analyzed the latest cancer research figures to calculate the expected number of new cancer patients to receive treatment in the UK each year, as well as those who have relapsed and need treatment.

According to the charity, a total of 213,622 cancer patients will need treatment between March and August 2020.

Action Radiotherapy claims the UK's true cancer congestion is 86,122 after subtracting the total number of patients from the number believed to have started treatment between the same time period.

It said cancer services would have to be at 135 percent capacity over six months for Britain to catch up and treat these patients.

Professor Price said, “We have reached the point where there is no going back for this cancer crisis. It is no longer a question of whether cancer patients die unnecessarily, but how many will die unnecessarily.

& # 39; There is so much suffering. Unless massive efforts are made now, the only way to clear cancer congestion is if people don't get the diagnosis and treatment they need.

Matt Hancock, who spoke in the House of Commons on Sept. 8, said the cancer congestion was down in half, but activists say the backlog is greater than originally thought

Matt Hancock, who spoke in the House of Commons on Sept. 8, said the cancer congestion was down in half, but activists say the backlog is greater than originally thought

& # 39; This is a shocking state of affairs. We know that to stop this cancer catastrophe we need 135% cancer services. & # 39;

Mr Farron said, “The government has to step on the table or tens of thousands will die unnecessarily.

Mr Hancock's answer could give people a false sense of security. He doesn't take seriously what is a serious problem. “The cancer crisis grows with every day we leave it.

"I have the feeling that we are really running the risk of unnecessarily losing more people to cancer than Covid."

"There is no attempt to clear the backlog and make it a national mission."

And Ms. Antoniazzi said: “We can no longer deny the numbers. The only way to clean up this residue is to take measures and resources to combat it. Otherwise we will lose more people to cancer than the coronavirus itself. & # 39;

A spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Welfare added: “Diagnosing and treating cancer remains an absolute priority.

& # 39; The NHS has adapted the way it operates its cancer services to keep patients and staff safe. This includes setting up special cancer centers for urgent treatment and diagnosis, separate from hospitals dealing with Covid-19.

& # 39; Patients continued to be referred for urgent cancer screenings and began treatment throughout the summit. The number now rose to almost prepandemic values.

& # 39; We have announced an additional £ 3 billion for winter preparations and committed £ 300 million in capital to modernize A & Es to expand waiting areas and treatment rooms.

"This is a record £ 33.9 billion additional funding through 2023/24 for the NHS."

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