Prostate Cancer Delays Cause Concern

A Rise In The Number Of Cancer Treatment Delays Has Been Highlighted

30.07.2014

Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397
The number of patients suffering long delays waiting for treatment for major cancers has risen by more than one quarter in the last year, new figures show.

Official statistics published by the Labour party revealed an additional 1,000 cancer patients were left waiting more than two months to begin their treatment during the last year, with the NHS missing its national cancer treatment targets for the first time ever as a result.

In total, the analysis of NHS performance revealed 5,419 diagnosed urological cancer patients waited in excess of 62 days to start treatment during 2013/14 - rising from the 4,331 individuals reporting the same delays in the previous year.

Overall, just 81.58 per cent of patients were treated within this two-month timeframe in the last 12 months - meaning almost one-fifth of patients were not.

What's more, this is not an isolated incident, as this figure has been falling for the past several years, from 84.7 per cent in 2011/12 to 83.5 per cent in 2012/13.

Responding to the report, shadow health secretary Andy Burnham commented: "People can see that the NHS is heading downhill on David Cameron's watch. But perhaps the most worrying problem of all is the decline in standards of cancer care.

"With cancer, speed is everything. These delays risk putting lives at stake and undoing all the progress made in recent years."

Indeed, chief executive at Macmillan Cancer Support Ciaran Devane told the Telegraph that nobody when faced with the life-changing news that they have cancer should be forced to wait such excessive periods for the treatment to begin.

It is therefore essential both this and the next government take forthright action to ensure support for cancer patients remains a priority.

Furthermore, Mr Devane argued that individual hospitals also have a responsibility to ensure they are meeting their targets for treatment timeframes, as any delays can significant impact an individual's chances of survival.

The government has defended its cancer record, stating that more patients than ever are being given treatment for their malignancies.

If you have suffered due to misdiagnosed prostate cancer or a delayed prostate cancer diagnosis, our medical negligence lawyers could help you claim compensation. Call 0808 163 4557 for a free initial consultation or see our Cancer Misdiagnosis Claims page for more details.

Expert Opinion
The fact that patients diagnosed with cancer are facing long delays is very troubling. Early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to improving the chances of survival for many types of cancer.

“It is vital that patient care is a top priority for the NHS, which means ensuring those diagnosed with cancer receive the appropriate care they need, including early appointments to ensure all treatment options are available to them. Through our work we have seen the devastating impact waiting for long periods for treatment can have on the chances of survival and recovery of patients and it is imperative that those diagnosed with cancer receive the best possible care available to them.”
Julie Lewis, Partner