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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