Lung Cancer

UK Covid-19: Expert says Covid reversed Britain’s lung cancer fight by 25 years [Video]

UK Covid-19: Expert says Covid reversed Britain’s lung cancer fight by 25 years

MPs have been told how pandemic guidance discouraged people with lung cancer from seeking medical help and it was equivalent to losing 25 years of progress in treating the disease. Politicians from the Health and Social Care Commitee also heard about ‘unacceptable’ variance in the kind of treatment cancer patients received in England depending on where they lived. Professor David Baldwin chair of the Lung Cancer Clinical Expert Group, told MPs how pandemic guidance actively discouraged people with lung cancer symptoms from seeking medical help. ‘It kept lung cancer patients at home more often so we saw a 69 per cent reduction in referrals. The message was stay at home if you have a cough, so we saw a 30 per cent reduction in to lung cancer incidents, and no recovery.’ ‘These poor people were never diagnosed with lung cancer, they probably had lung cancer, were never diagnosed and died with another diagnoses.’ Early diagnosis is a key factor for surviving lung cancer, one of the deadliest cancers in the UK in terms of how many people it kills per year. Professor Baldwin likened the situation to working 25 years ago in terms of seeing patients whose cancer had only been spotted at a late stage. ‘It was like working 20 to 25 years ago…late stage disease, horrible presentations, all sorts of things that we’d actually forgotten about because we’d made so much progress on this early diagnoses pathway,’ he said. ‘It’s been devastating, to see all of the work we’ve done over the past few years been undone.’

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