Cancer survival rates under pressure from Covid-19

1 min read

It was reported in yesterday’s Sunday Times that the chance of surviving cancer will fall if the coronavirus outbreak continues to put pressure on the NHS. The source of these concerns was Cancer Research UK’s Chief Clinician and, using anecdotal evidence, the piece mentioned delays in screening, diagnostic procedures and surgery, all of which are of huge concern for cancer patients and cancer charities including Brain Tumour Research.

In a related article that ran alongside this piece brain tumour patient Graham Wood spoke of his family’s situation and the fact that he has been assessed as suitable to begin a clinical trial for Eflornithine, a drug believed to halt tumour growth. The trial is only available at two London hospitals and, due to the coronavirus situation, recruitment has been halted. The situation is to be assessed again in May and as Graham says until then: “There is nothing we can do”.

A source close to NHS England is quoted in The Sunday Times saying: “Brutally we think it is possible that more people will die from delays to treatment, especially cancer treatment, than the coronavirus.”

Certainly, with delays looking likely to continue and the impact this will have, leading to once treatable tumours becoming inoperable and the development of future therapies in jeopardy, we are in a very serious situation. Whilst acknowledging this our vision remains the same and we will strive to continue making a difference for those diagnosed with a brain tumour.

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