Grahame Morris MP – Vice-Chair of the APPG for Radiotherapy and the APPG for Cancer – spoke in this afternoon’s Westminster Hall Debate on the impact of Covid-19 on breast cancer diagnosis, and the future of breast cancer services.
The Easington MP recently had a virtual meeting with Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan’s ‘Forgotten C’ campaign estimates that there are 50,000 ‘missing diagnoses’ for cancer across the UK.
An estimated 100 fewer women started treatment for breast cancer each working day in May and June 2020, compared to 2019, and breast cancer two-week wait referral appointments were down 25% in March-August this year compared to 2019.
Macmillan estimates that there are currently around 17,689 living with and beyond cancer in County Durham. Worryingly, this figure could rise to an estimated 28,541 people by 2030.
Grahame was also joined on the call by a representative from Macmillan’s Joining the Dots, a brilliant service which offers practical help and support to people affected by cancer living in County Durham. Joining the Dots has continued to support constituents who are affected by cancer throughout the pandemic, primarily through telephone and video calls.
Grahame also mentioned a campaign supported by Radiotherapy4Life’s called ‘Catch Up With Cancer’, which calculates that the cancer backlog stands at over 100,000 patients.
Many older women with breast cancer were not prioritised to receive breast radiotherapy over the last 6 months. Mr Morris asked the Minister is she would ensure the publication of Radiotherapy data sets held by Public Health England.