Coronavirus leads to chemotherapy cancellation

1 min read

Like many brain tumour patients, Catherine Wilcockson is anxious about her ongoing treatment during the coronavirus pandemic.

Catherine is featured in today’s Daily Mail and Mail Online talking about her experiences as her chemotherapy is postponed because of the ongoing global health crisis.

Catherine, who is 37 and has three children, told the paper she was “scared and too shocked to cry” when she received a phone call breaking the news. Some 80%of her tumour was removed during surgery last year and she needed 30 sessions of radiotherapy before starting a nine-month course of chemotherapy in October.

Fortunately for Catherine, the treatment so far has caused her tumour to shrink. “A scan showed the treatment was working and the tumour had shrunk dramatically. I’d thought I was on my way to beating the tumour and getting on with normal life again, returning to work and looking after my girls,” she said. “The type of tumour I’ve got can grow back and I want to make sure as much of the tumour as possible is destroyed. I’ve been through so much in the last ten months any delay now seems unfair.”

The Mail also reports that some NHS cancer patients may now receive treatment in private hospitals with immediate effect to reduce delays to their care.

In a briefing to cancer charities today NHS England told us that the whole clinical world isn’t “running toward the Covid–19 fire” and cancer care continues, and where it has been challenged it will need to recover after the Covid-19 surge that is expected over the next fortnight.

A threat to cancer treatments is attending hospital appointments and being admitted for surgery during the pandemic and as well as new ways of administering clinical care being explored, Covid-free cancer hubs have been developed at The Royal Marsden and UCLH in London as well as in Manchester which will protect cancer surgery and post-surgical care.

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