NHS Faces Risks of ‘Being Overwhelmed’ With More Cancer Cases in UK: Charity

Pedestrians walk past images of workers of Britain’s National Health Service, south London, January 5, 2022InternationalIndiaAfricaOleg BurunovCancer Research UK chief executive Michelle Mitchell warned of challenges the NHS will face in “years to come,” also urging Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to do more “to ensure cancer survival dramatically improves in England.”Patients suffering from oncology could overwhelm the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) as more people are expected to be diagnosed with the disease, the British charity Cancer Research UK has revealed.

Professor Charles Swanton, chief clinician for the charity, argued that "right now, the NHS is just about treading water."

Javid Slams Deletion of ‘Women’ from NHS Ovarian Cancer Webpage8 June 2022, 11:44 GMTHe warned that “by the end of the next decade, if left unaided, the NHS risks being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new cancer diagnoses.”

"It takes 15 years to train an oncologist, pathologist, radiologist or surgeon," he added, urging the government to “start planning now to give patients the support they will so desperately need.”

The remarks come as the charity’s analysis estimated that cancer cases in the UK would rise from their current 384,000 per year to 506,000 in 2040, if current trends persist.In total, there could be 8.4 million new cases of cancer and 3.5 million oncology deaths in Britain between 2023 and 2040, according to the analysis.Attributing an increase in cases to an ageing population, the charity also insisted that obesity and smoking are also contributing to the rise.The report also indicated that while survival rates have improved, the UK continues to lag behind much of Europe, with deaths expected to rise by almost a quarter, from 167,000 to 208,000, over the next seventeen years.NHS Rolls Out ‘Game Changer’ Pilot Blood Test For Detecting Over 50 Types of Cancer13 September 2021, 08:06 GMTCancer Research UK chief executive Michelle Mitchell underscored that “today’s analysis provides a stark reminder of the challenges the NHS in England is set to face in years to come.”

“Cancer patients are already facing unacceptably long waits for diagnosis and treatment, and staff in cancer services are working very hard. On World Cancer Day [annually marked on February 4], we are demanding that the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, provide long-term, lasting solutions to ensure cancer survival dramatically improves in England,” she pointed out.

Tough COVID-19 pandemic-related lockdowns, which were in place in Britain between 2020 and 2022, significantly disrupted the NHS’ diagnostics of patients in the country, something that added to a rise in cancer cases.


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