Socialized Medicine in the UK to not allow 14,000 elderly Cancer patients any care
14,000 CANCER PATIENTS ‘TOO OLD TO BE TREATED’
A report has revealed that discrimination against the over- 75s is rife across the NHS
Monday March 26,2012
By Jo Willey
AS many as 14,000 elderly people die from cancer every year simply because they are considered “too old to treat”.
A damning report has revealed that “utterly shameful” age discrimination against the over- 75s is rife across the NHS.
Although cancer rates are high in this age group, cases are often diagnosed late and then treatment or life-saving surgery is denied.
Macmillan Cancer Support has found that while death rates for cancer are improving overall, they are doing so at a much slower rate for those aged 75-84 and are get- ting worse for the over-85s. With half of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in people aged 70 or over, the charity says this issue must be addressed as a matter of urgency.
Chief executive Ciaran Devane said: “Writing people off as too old for treatment is utterly shameful.”
Macmillan’s report, The Age Old Excuse, reveals older patients may not get offered treatments given to younger people because they have little support outside of hospital, with many living alone.
Writing people off as too old for treatment is utterly shameful
Also, although over-75s make up half of all cancer sufferers – with 112,000 new cases diagnosed each year – staff say they have little training to deal with a raft of issues associated with older patients, such as the increased risk of a fall.
The report echoes a similarly damning report from The King’s Fund think-tank last year which warned that elderly cancer patients here were getting worse care than those in Europe.
Care Services Minister Paul Burstow said he was “under no illusions” about the difficulties, but added: “The NHS is under a moral obligation not to discriminate.”