Around 2.4 million people in the UK are waiting for cancer screening, further tests or cancer treatment according to analysis by Cancer Research UK.
COVID-19 has caused enormous disruption to cancer services across the UK, including delays to cancer treatment, screening and diagnosis, and huge decreases in patients being urgently referred to hospital with suspected cancer symptoms.
Delays to cancer screening have had a significant impact, with a backlog of around 2.1 million people left waiting for breast, bowel or cervical screening. During this time, 3,800 cancers would normally be diagnosed through screening. Urgent cancer referrals, often known as the two-week wait, have been severely impacted with up to 290,000 people missing out on further testing, which would normally catch up to 20,300 cancers in the same time period.
There will also be a backlog of treatment to catch up on, with up to 12,750 fewer patients receiving surgery, 6,000 fewer for chemotherapy and 2,800 fewer receiving radiotherapy since lockdown began.
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