Cancer treatment ‘denied’ to older people

27 December 2012

Older people with cancer are being discriminated against because of their age, a new study has stated.

Macmillan Cancer Support reported that nearly 50 per cent of cancer specialists believe that people are being denied important treatment because of how old they are.

Additionally, a whopping 45 per cent of 155 GPs, oncologists and cancer nurses have had to deal with a patient suffering from cancer who were, to all intents, denied treatment because they were deemed to old.

This makes for startling findings, as the number of older people – classed as 65 and over – living with cancer in the UK is set to rise from 1.3 million to 4.1 million over the next 20 years.

Ciaran Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, commented that this research must not be ignored as it highlights a serious problem.

“Unless staff are given the time and training to carry out a proper assessment of a patient's overall physical and mental wellbeing, some patients will be unfairly written-off as ‘too old’ for treatment,” the expert expanded.

“The right practical support, whether it's transport or help with caring responsibilities must also be put in place so older people needing treatment can actually take it up.”

Posted by Edward Bartel

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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