Coordinated national response needed to kickstart cancer services

Otherwise, we risk a ‘cancer catastrophe,’ warns former head of the WHO’s cancer programme

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A coordinated national response is needed to kickstart cancer services in the NHS and stave off a ‘cancer catastrophe,’ the former head of the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) cancer programme, Professor Karol Sikora has warned.

In light of figures released last week by Cancer Research UK, which suggest the backlog of patients needing cancer treatment is even worse than anticipated, he has outlined a five-point plan to cope with the surge in demand expected in the next few months.

Cancer centres and treatment areas must be kept ‘COVID-free’, says Professor Sikora, now chief medical officer at Rutherford Health, a network of cancer treatment centres in the independent sector.

This should include monitoring all patients for COVID-19 symptoms (temperature checks) and swab tests for all staff at least weekly, which is similar to what the Premier League is doing with its players and staff. 



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