Life-Saving Cancer Operations Face Cancellation as Covid Patients Fill Hospitals Across London.
According to inside sources, NHS bosses are set to cancel urgent surgery across London in a move that could mean cancer patients waiting months for potentially lifesaving operations. NHS England chiefs are considering the drastic action because hospitals across the capital are becoming overwhelmed by people who are very sick with Covid-19.
The operations likely to be cancelled, known as “priority two” procedures, mainly involve surgery for cancer where specialists have judged that the patients need to be operated on within four weeks. Any delay could allow their tumour to grow, the disease to spread or both, thus reducing their chances of survival.
Health service executives and cancer experts fear patients’ cancers may worsen, or even become inoperable if surgery is postponed for an unknown length of time.
“These are operations that are curative if done within four weeks but if you wait longer they may not be so effective”, said one senior London NHS figure. “The impact of this on patients’ health depends on when they get rebooked. Delaying cancer surgery can lead to tumours growing or spreading – and worse outcomes.”
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