Staffing issues in the UK are delaying radiation treatment for cancer. This is leading to a decrease in cancer survival rates:

“Radiotherapy services in the UK are inferior to those in most developed countries and indeed many poorer countries,” he said quoting earlier research.

He told the BBC News website: “Unfortunately the here and now of this is in terms of radiotherapy capacity in the UK in many centres in the UK is a real problem.”

This meant there was a long delay between referral and treatment starting, leading to reduced survival chances for certain cancers, Dr Dodwell said.

Cervical cancer patients’ chances of survival were cut by longer waiting times for radiotherapy, he said.

And the chances of tumours recurring in head and neck patients waiting more than six weeks for post-operative radiotherapy rose three-fold, he added.

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  • Anonymous

    Huh. I had to wait 9 weeks for consolidation RT, and this was in the good ole USA.

  • gasman

    Radiation for many cancers is dosed over 20 to 30 sessions. I find it curious that the biology of tumors follows a 7 day cycle. This allows radiation oncologists to take 2 days off after every 5 days of work. Even more amazing, when holidays intervene, optimum treatment seems to also follow this pattern.

    It’s hard to get excited about providing care for patients immediatly when getting a call Thursday afternoon. If it is really so damned important to begin Friday, why is the oncologist going to wait until Monday for the second treatment.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting about the comment from someone else in one of the “lifestyle” fields of medicine. Personally, I have given up on calling anesthesia for anything at my hospital.