Thousands of older cancer patients are being denied potentially life-saving surgery because of ageism in the NHS. The chances of being operated on start falling in middle-age and plummet for those in their 70s and older, an official study shows.
Experts blame age discrimination and poor access to specialist opinion in some areas. This may explain why older people in Britain are less likely to survive than elsewhere.
Lead researcher Mick Peake, of Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, said the decline in operating rates among the middle-aged is particularly worrying as surgery has the biggest benefit in long-term survival.
Some patients are not referred to specialists even though their local hospital lacks the expertise, he added.
‘There are places where the teams are just looking at the patients and saying “no”,’ he said. ‘They sit there like in the arena in the Colosseum and it’s thumbs up or thumbs down.’ There are places ‘where I wouldn’t send my cat’ because they do not offer the same level of surgical skills, he added.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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