Tags: britain | cancer | patients | older

Oncologist: Britain Will Struggle With Increase In Older Patients

By    |   Saturday, 08 Jun 2013 10:50 AM

A prominent British cancer specialist warns that with the aging of the nation’s population, the changing demographics of cancer patients will put the country’s National Health Service (NHS) under growing pressure and might not have the ability to cope, the London Telegraph reports.
 
Prof. Karol Sikora, a cancer specialist at Hammersmith Hospital in London, said with more people living to old age, the number of cancer patients will surely grow. Asked whether he thought the NHS could cope, Sikora said they could not.

Sikora said  in an interview with British television that all Western healthcare systems, however funded, “are going to struggle with cancer in older people” because the elderly suffer from other diseases including diabetes and pulmonary illnesses.

This “older and frailer” population, he added, will be more difficult to treat, according to the Telegraph.

Sikora, medical director of a group of British cancer treatment centers, questioned whether the NHS will be able to handle the growing numbers of people who want to prolong their lives as much as possible.

He said that “people want more and more expensive treatments to try and stave off the evil hour of death.”

But Prof. Nick James of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust disagreed with Sikora.
 
“It’s not the case that all of a sudden 50 percent of the population’s going to develop cancer in 2020,” James said, adding that the changes would be “evolutionary” and that the NHS could cope with the numbers.

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A prominent British cancer specialist warns that with the aging of the nation’s population, the changing demographics of cancer patients will put the country’s National Health Service (NHS) under growing pressure and might not have the ability to cope, the London Telegraph reports.
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Saturday, 08 Jun 2013 10:50 AM
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