Minister defends Government cancer record despite growing treatment delays and spiralling diagnostic waits
A health minister has defended the Government’s record on treating cancer, despite data showing more Britons are waiting longer for urgent treatment than ever before.
Minister for patient safety and primary care, Maria Caulfield, insisted No10 had prioritised cancer patients during the Covid pandemic when she was quizzed by MPs from the Health and Social Care Committee today.
她说: ‘Since the start of pandemic in March 2020, there have been over 4million urgent referrals for cancer and over 960,000 people have been receiving treatment… a phenomenal achievement considering the scale of the pandemic.’
The referral figure is similar to non-pandemic years, and charities estimate that prior to Covid there were about 375,000 new cancer cases found per year in the UK.
Ms Caulfield added: ‘We have absolutely prioritised cancer care throughout the pandemic.’
She pointed to the fact that ‘around 95 百分’ of patients newly diagnosed with the disease are starting treatment within a month. NHS figures reveals this figure is currently 93 百分, with the health service target standing 96 百分.
But official NHS data shows a record low of only two-thirds of cancer patients with an urgent referral from their GP receive care within two months. The NHS target is 85 百分.
And half of women with suspected breast cancer are waiting more than the NHS’s two-week target to see a specialist.
Ms Caulfield also said the NHS was seeing a ‘tsunami’ of potential cancer patients which had been put off seeking treatment by the Covid pandemic, something she acknowledged was putting the system under strain.
Health minister Maria Caulfield defended the Governments record on cancer during the pandemic despite waiting times for diagnoses and treatment hitting worrying levels
Prime minister Boris Johnson pictured here in a visit to Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton said clearing the Covid care backlog was Britain’s number one issue
NHS England aims to treat 85 per cent of cancer patients who receive an urgent referral from their GP within two months, but in November 2021, the latest available, 只要 67.5 per cent of patients received treatment in this time frame. While the problem predates the Covid pandemic, the disruption to services caused by the virus has exacerbated the problem
Waiting times for breast cancer checks QUADRUPLES in just two months
Half of women with suspected breast cancer are waiting more than the two-week target to see a specialist after being urgently referred by a GP, 数字显示.
The number of patients waiting too long has quadrupled in just two months, 从 5,280 in September to 23,704 十一月, the latest month with available data.
It means 48.2 per cent were not seen as quickly as they should have been – up from 12.5 per cent over the same two-month period.
Targets for cancer waiting times are being missed across the board, but breast cancer is faring worse than the rest.
The next longest wait to see a specialist is for suspected skin cancer, 与 23 per cent having to wait more than 14 天.
Charities described the figures as ‘highly alarming’ and warned delays cause anxiety and reduce survival odds.
Charities have warned there will be thousands of additional cancer deaths in the coming years due to people not getting seen early enough during the pandemic.
目前有 50,000 missing cancer patients, according to Macmillan Cancer Support, 尽管它的售价仅为原始记录设置的一小部分 24,000 starting treatment too late.
‘There is almost a tsunami of patients who maybe didn’t come forward at the start, who are now coming through,’ MS Caulfield told MPs.
‘We are seeing a record number of cancer referrals, so about 11,000 cancer referrals per working day coming through the system, which is putting pressure on diagnosis and treatment.’
Her comments came as the embattled Boris Johnson announced clearing the Covid care backlog was his number one issue.
In a visit to Rutherford Diagnostic Centre in Taunton, the prime minister said: ‘I am focused on what I think is the number one issue for British people and it is clearing the Covid backlogs, but also looking at what we can do with new techniques.’
Mr Johnson said a lack diagnostics, the specialised staff and equipment that helps detect cancers, was ‘part of the delay’ and said £3.2 billion was being invested in community diagnostic hubs to ‘bring that scan closer to you’.
‘We’re supporting our amazing doctors and nurses who’ve kept us going throughout the pandemic – there are 44,000 more healthcare professionals now than there were in 2020, that’s a great thing,’ 他说.
‘But the waiting lists – they’re tired and they’re stressed and what we’ve got to do is have diagnostics done as fast as possible on sites like this. And that’s what we’re doing.
‘So the message I want to get over to people is if you haven’t had a screen, you haven’t had a scan, you’ve been delayed or put off because of Covid, now is the time.’
Tens of thousands of Britons worried about potential cancer symptoms are believed to have been discouraging seeking help over the course of the Covid pandemic.
Many people were put off seeking help due to No10’s ‘stay at home message’ 中 2020, or out of fear of catching Covid. Others had appointments or scans cancelled.
NHS England’s national cancer director Dame Cally Palmer, who was also questioned by committee MPs, told them the health service estimated 34,000 people with cancer had not come forward for treatment due to the pandemic.
Ms Caulfield’s comments came just a few days after her boss, ] 卫生部长萨吉德·贾维德, revealed he wanted launch a ‘war on cancer.
He said he is working on a ‘new vision’ to improve the ‘persistently poor outcomes’ experienced by people in the UK.
This includes a ’15-year workforce planning programme’ which Ms Caulfield told MPs would be revealed ‘very soon’.
There have been a raft of worrying statistics regarding cancer diagnoses and treatment in recent months, data which does not factor in any recent disruption caused by the recent Omicron surge.
NHS England data shows a record low of 67.5 per cent of cancer patients with an urgent referral from their GP started treatment within two months in November, meaning about one in three had to wait longer.
Health service data also shows that 48.2 per cent of women with suspected breast cancer waited over two weeks to see a specialist after an urgent referral from their family doctor.
The NHS target is that 93 per cent of women with an urgent referral should be seen within two weeks.
The yawning gap between NHS targets and patient waiting times has prompted UK experts like Professor Karol Sikora, a consultant oncologist, to warn time is running out for many patients.
Writing for the MailOnline Professor Sikora said: ‘Of all the medical backlogs grievously aggravated by the pandemic, cancer is the most time sensitive and time is running out fast.’
He argued the UK needs a national effort to beat cancer similar to the drive behind the Covid vaccination programme.
‘The political will is clearly there to tackle this problem but all of us involved in cancer care need to display the same determination to take action now in the same way we rose to the challenge of the vaccination booster campaign.’
‘We need another national effort. People’s lives depend on it.’
乳腺癌是世界上最常见的癌症之一. 在英国，每年有不止一个 55,000 新案件, 这种疾病夺走了生命 11,500 女人. 在美国, 它罢工 266,000 每年杀人 40,000. 但是是什么原因导致的，以及如何治疗?
当乳腺癌扩散到周围的乳腺组织中时，称为“浸润性’ 乳腺癌. 有些人被诊断为“原位癌”, 没有癌细胞长出导管或小叶的地方.
多数病例发生于≥1岁的女性 50 但是年轻女性有时会受到影响. 乳腺癌可在男性中发展，尽管这种情况很少见.
分期意味着癌症的大小以及它是否已经扩散. 阶段 1 是最早的阶段 4 意味着癌症已经扩散到身体的另一部分.
癌细胞从低到高分级, 这意味着增长缓慢, 高, 增长迅速. 初次治疗后，高级别癌症更有可能复发.
癌性肿瘤始于一个异常细胞. 细胞癌变的确切原因尚不清楚. 人们认为某些东西会破坏或改变细胞中的某些基因. 这会使细胞异常并“失去控制”.
尽管乳腺癌可以毫无原因地发展, 有些危险因素会增加患乳腺癌的机会, 如遗传学.
通常的第一症状是乳房无痛性肿块, 尽管大多数乳房肿块都没有癌变并且是充满液体的囊肿, 良性的.
- 初步评估: 医生检查乳房和腋窝. 他们可能会做乳房X线检查等检查, 乳腺组织的特殊X射线，可以指示发生肿瘤的可能性.
- 活检: 活检是指从身体的一部分取出一小块组织样本. 然后在显微镜下检查样品以寻找异常细胞. 样本可以确认或排除癌症.
如果您确认患有乳腺癌, 可能需要进一步测试以评估其是否扩散. 例如, 验血, 肝脏或胸部X线超声检查.
可以考虑的治疗选择包括手术, 化学疗法, 放射疗法和激素治疗. 通常将两种或更多种治疗方法结合使用.
- 外科手术: 保乳手术或受累乳房的切除取决于肿瘤的大小.
- 放射疗法: 使用聚焦于癌组织的高能射线束的治疗方法. 这杀死癌细胞, 或阻止癌细胞繁殖. 它主要用于除外科手术.
- 化学疗法: 通过使用杀死癌细胞的抗癌药物治疗癌症, 或阻止他们繁殖
- 激素治疗: 某些类型的乳腺癌会受到“女性”的影响’ 激素雌激素, 可以刺激癌细胞分裂和繁殖. 降低这些激素水平的疗法, 或阻止他们工作, 通常用于乳腺癌患者.
当癌症仍然很小时，那些被诊断出的人的前景最好, 并没有传播. 早期通过外科手术切除肿瘤可能会带来良好的治愈机会.
常规X线乳腺摄影给年龄在20岁以下的妇女。 50 和 70 意味着在早期阶段会诊断和治疗更多的乳腺癌.