Tag Archives: cancer

This man will die of cancer because the Tories weakened the NHS. They might as well have killed him themselves

Adrian Rogers: by starving the NHS of resources, the Tories have cuased his cancer to become terminal.

Back in March, This Site quoted oncologist Karol Sikora, writing in Mail Online, of all places, about fears that the diversion of NHS resources to Covid-19 would lead to the preventable death of cancer patients.

The expert wrote:

“Capacity within the healthcare system – in both the public and independent sectors – is going to be tested to the limit and perhaps beyond.

“We are already seeing decisions in place to stop or reduce chemotherapy treatments.

“It would be sad if young men with fully curable testicular cancer or adolescents with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma were delayed. It’s a juggling act and none of us know how tough it is really going to get.”

And now it has happened.

As the Mirror reports:

Adrian Rogers, 46… has become the first known cancer patient to reveal he is now terminal after potentially life-saving surgery was cancelled – due to Covid.

His surgery was scheduled for early April – but when Covid-19 hit doctors decided it was “too risky” to go ahead with his surgery.

[He] has now been told his cancer is terminal – as the number of tumours on his bowels and liver has since swelled from six, to a massive 20.

Cancer Research UK has revealed that hundreds of thousands of cancer patients have experienced cancellations or delays to their treatment.

Back in March, I wrote, “Just remember: if cancer patients’ lives are lost because resources are diverted to Covid-19 cases, it won’t be coronavirus that’s to blame.

“The fault will lie entirely with the Tories for short-sightedly putting cash before care.”

I stand by those words.

The Tories who systematically starved the NHS over the last 10 years should be held responsible for the now-inevitable deaths of cancer patients like Mr Rogers.

Source: Man is first known cancer patient to become terminal after coronavirus cancels treatment – Mirror Online

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As routine NHS care grinds to a halt, pray you don’t need tests for cancer

Here’s how you work out how badly the government’s Covid-19 strategy has failed the NHS and the people of the UK.

The waiting list to be tested for conditions including cancer is now 16 times longer than it was before the crisis began.

Here are the figures, courtesy of the Mirror:

Patients waiting more than six weeks have increased from 30,000 to 469,000 as routine NHS care ground to a halt during the coronavirus crisis.

Those waiting for lifesaving Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans to detect tumours throughout the body increased from 5,733 to 78,932.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth said: “Ministers tell us the NHS has ‘coped’ through the Covid-19 peak but that was on the back of cancelled operations, delayed scans and diagnostic tests.

“Estimates suggest two million people are waiting for cancer screening, tests or treatment and that 1,600 cases of cancer are currently left undiagnosed every month.”

He said it was vital that ministers must bring forward a plan to tackle the backlog but you know they won’t.

Remember: Matt Hancock is the Health Secretary and he is on record as responding to 66,000 Covid-19 deaths by saying, “Our plan is working”!

The message is as clear as it was in the 1980s when then-Labour leader Neil Kinnock gave this chilling warning about life under a Conservative government:

“Don’t get sick.”

Source: Coronavirus prompts NHS cancer test backlog as soaring number wait six weeks – Mirror Online

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Tories text cancer, transplant and asthma patients to axe them from shielding list

Big Brother: he’s watching vulnerable people and has decided that too many of them are getting government help. So some will lose it, no matter how badly they need it.

What the actual blazes is the Tory government trying to do now?

The apparently unilateral decision to axe people with serious medical conditions from the shielding list will undoubtedly have severe consequences.

(Although This Writer’s own contact who is on the shielding list only ever received one food parcel, in any event. It came unheralded and unlabelled and he had no idea what it was at first.)

People with cancer, liver disease or severe asthma have been dropped from the UK government’s coronavirus shielding list by text message before their doctors have been able to speak to them.

The decision to remove people with various health conditions from the shielding programme has caused upset. The text also informed people they would no longer qualify for government food parcels.

Many who received the messages last Friday believed they were fake. But the government has since confirmed the texts are correct and are official government communications.

Certain patients who have had a liver transplant, are on immunosuppressant medication, or have decompensated cirrhosis have also received texts. People with brittle asthma and those with other types of cancer were also told they were no longer getting additional help from the National Shielding Service.

Apparently, a government spokesperson said: “The government is committed to supporting the clinically extremely vulnerable and all decisions about whether someone should shield are clinically led.

“In some cases health experts have advised that a patient no longer needs to shield themselves from coronavirus. Where this is the case, the person will be informed that they are not on the shielded patient list.

“Those advised that they no longer need to shield may still access forms of support including the NHS Volunteers network, and will retain their supermarket priority delivery slots.”

The claim is that the government had asked clinicians to review people’s records to ensure that only those who needed to shield were on the shielded patient list.

Apparently doctors should have written to explain the decisions that had been made, and the text was supposed to both confirm that support would end and direct patients to other forms of help.

Clearly, that hasn’t happened.

This looks like an attempt to save money by withdrawing support from vulnerable groups, who may then contract Covid-19 or die for other reasons.

With no advice on other forms of help, and no wherewithal to collect supplies (if they wisely ignore the government’s claims and continue to shield at home), what are these people going to do?

You can guess what the Tories want.

Source: Cancer, transplant and asthma patients axed from shielding list by text message | World news | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: are people with disabilities being left to starve – in breach of the Tory government’s pledge?

Checkout: it seems the Tory governent may be encouraging people with disabilities to check out of LIFE, after promising to arrange supermarkets to deliver groceries to them and then reneging on it.

Claims that some people with disabilities could slip through a government safety net and be left to starve are understated. Where is the safety net?

According to Disability News Servicethe government announced that 1.5 million disabled people had been categorised as “extremely vulnerable” to the virus and would receive regular deliveries of basic groceries if they do not have their own support network of friends and family.

The list includes those with severe respiratory conditions, many people on immunosuppression therapies, and those with certain cancers.

DNS quoted a disabled Baptist minister who raised concerns that people with disabilities who were not on the government’s list would be left to starve to death.

But here’s my concern:

I have family members who qualify for this help – according to the criteria listed by the government – and haven’t heard a single word about regular grocery deliveries for them.

It raises the question: who actually is on this mythical list of people who qualify for such deliveries? Who compiled it? Does it exist at all?

Or is it as fake as the government’s claims about personal protective equipment, coronavirus tests and ventilator supplies?

Remember: the government has ordered the NHS to deny coronavirus treatment to anybody with the disabilities in its list, if they contract it.

This Site would be keen to hear from anybody who has been contacted about receiving deliveries of supplies from supermarkets – on grounds that their health condition qualifies them for it.

Let’s find out the truth of this.

Source: Coronavirus: Blind Baptist minister fears disabled people could be left to starve – Disability News Service

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Tory destruction of NHS means curable cancer patients may suffer due to coronavirus

Tory policies that have starved the National Health Service of vital funding and resources mean people with curable forms of cancer could die as efforts are diverted to the fight against coronavirus.

That’s what This Writer takes from oncologist Karol Sikora’s article on Mail Online.

He writes:

In the next few weeks capacity within the healthcare system – in both the public and independent sectors – is going to be tested to the limit and perhaps beyond.

We are already seeing decisions in place to stop or reduce chemotherapy treatments.

It would be sad if young men with fully curable testicular cancer or adolescents with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma were delayed. It’s a juggling act and none of us know how tough it is really going to get.

We are working in a system which is pretty much at full stretch anyway.

And he points out:

There is real worry about cancer patients becoming infected with Covid-19.

So the outlook is bleak for cancer patients – and likely to get worse as the pandemic runs its course.

Just remember: if cancer patients’ lives are lost because resources are diverted to Covid-19 cases, it won’t be coronavirus that’s to blame.

The fault will lie entirely with the Tories for short-sightedly putting cash before care.

Source: Cancer patients can’t be condemned to lose their treatments because of coronavirus | Daily Mail Online

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When is a public health service NOT a public health service? When it’s run by TORIES

The Conservatives will swear blind that the National Health Service is still a publicly-owned, universal system because it is free at the point of use – falsely.

It isn’t a universal system any more because, after some services were sold off to private firms, those firms have chosen not to provide them in certain parts of the country.

And it isn’t free at the point of use any more – obviously – because patients who have been left high and dry by the privateers in the NHS have been forced to seek treatment by private providers – at cost.

Meanwhile, other healthcare services are being starved because the Treasury is having to pump inflated amounts of cash into the private providers, to accommodate their profits.

And their mouthpieces in the Tory-owned media will still parrot the nonsense that, because it is funded by the Treasury, it is a publicly-owned, universal system, free at the point of use.

Please don’t let anyone get away with spreading the lies.

NHS cancer care and kids’ ­treatments are up for grabs in a stealth Tory sell-off.

Private firms are being invited to bid for chunks of our health service – in complete contrast to Boris Johnson’s repeated election campaign denials.

Cardiology, gynaecology, paediatrics and oncology are among the services being offered to companies.

A new framework drawn up by NHS Shared Business Services will see hospital trusts buying clinical care from a list of suppliers.

It could lead to deals worth up to £117million being handed out over four years.

Source: Private firms invited to run NHS services with cancer and kids treatments on sale – Mirror Online

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Should this Home Secretary be held responsible for asylum-seeker’s cancer death?

Sajid Javid: He denied a cancer sufferer healthcare, and she died.

It seems the Tory-run home office isn’t happy with the misery it has caused with the Windrush scandal and its “hostile environment” policy – it has branched out into causing death by withholding healthcare.

Kelemua Mulat died after the Home Office said she should be refused life-saving cancer treatment.

The excuse was that there was confusion over whether she should be charged for the treatment.

That is an administrative matter.

The immediate concern should have been ensuring that she did receive treatment – not who pays for it.

Perhaps we should be unsurprised that the Tory government responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands – if not hundreds of thousands, or millions – of people by withholding benefit payments was more concerned about money than life.

That doesn’t change the fact that the Home Office has blood on its hands, and the Home Secretary responsible for this death should face justice for causing it.

That would be Sajid Javid.

Watch him run from justice like the coward he is.

An Ethiopian woman who was denied potentially life-saving cancer treatment for six weeks amid confusion about whether she should be charged by the NHS has died aged 39.

Kelemua Mulat, who had advanced breast cancer, was refused chemotherapy last year after Home Office and NHS officials decided that she was not eligible for free care.

Mulat, a mother of one, was eventually treated by the internationally renowned Christie hospital in Manchester after its doctors expressed concern and said her need was “immediately necessary”, which is permitted treatment under the rules.

Source: Asylum seeker denied cancer treatment by Home Office dies | Politics | The Guardian

Like so many others, this latest DWP tragedy is heartbreaking – and preventable

Carol Jones was more than £2,000 in debt when she died of cancer, because the Department for Work and Pensions had stopped all of her benefits.

Ms Jones, 65, who had been fighting liver cancer for two years, had been admitted to the Royal Stoke University Hospital in May and then a Leek care home before losing her fight for life last week.

She had not received any of the DWP’s correspondence and had therefore been unable to respond to it.

Fortunately her twin brother David Agar discovered the debt – and the cause of it – and was able to rectify matters.

But this could have happened to an uncountable number of seriously-ill benefit claimants. Perhaps it already has.

The DWP’s comment to the Stoke Sentinel is despicable – and puts the problem in perspective: “We do not stop benefits because people are in hospital.”

That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the fact that Ms Jones, who lived alone, had not been asked to provide details of anybody else who could have handled her affairs.

Several members of This Writer’s own family have undergone treatment for cancer and I know that – successful or not – it can totally incapacitate a person.

If that happens, they need someone else to take over matters that concern them – for the period they are unable to cope themselves.

The DWP needs to accept this, and to ensure that details of such a person are discussed in claims for sickness and/or disability benefits.

That would prevent debts from stacking up that a deceased person would likely leave to their relatives, and which may drive a survivor to the grave after all.

It seems only common sense. Why hasn’t the DWP implemented it already?

Source: ‘How can someone that ill have their benefits stopped?’ – Terminally-ill Carol racks up £2k debt just weeks before she dies after DWP withdraws support – Stoke-on-Trent Live

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Typical DWP: How much cancer do you need to have before qualifying for benefits?

Katie Larn: She didn’t have cancer “enough” to qualify for benefits, according to a DWP-appointed assessor.

Katie Larn told the BBC she thinks the assessor who carried out a home visit to determine whether she qualified for PIP had decided she didn’t look sick enough.

I wonder if the assessor worked for Capita?

She’d had one session of chemotherapy then, had not yet lost her hair and steroids she was taking had not yet taken effect, making her put weight on.

But of course, a visual assessment is known not to be worth anything at all.

The message is clear, although the DWP isn’t getting it after almost 10 years (yes, the image was originally about fibromyalgia. It applies just as readily to cancer).

The worst of it is that the DWP would probably try to suggest the assessment was correct, as Ms Larn’s condition is now in remission.

It’s the equivalent of suggesting somebody must be a witch because they’ve managed to hold their breath longer than the time they were held underwater on the ducking-stool.

But that’s DWP policy for you: If you died, you needed benefit but now you don’t. If you live, you didn’t need it then and don’t now.

The Conservatives (and the Liberal Democrats who helped them set up this system) have thrown people living with sickness and disability right back into the Dark Ages.

A mother of three said she was told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that she “didn’t have cancer enough” when she applied for benefits.

Katie Larn was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma last year, and after starting treatment she applied for Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

The 29-year-old was told she did not qualify for support after a home visit.

Source: Leicestershire mum ‘didn’t have cancer enough’ to receive benefits – BBC News

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Tributes after Jeremy Hardy – possibly the UK’s funniest political commentator – dies of cancer

Celebrated: Jeremy Hardy.

This is a bitter blow.

I never knew Jeremy Hardy personally. He performed here in Mid Wales several times (if I recall correctly) but I never got to see him due to my own poverty. I had other priorities and I think he would have sympathised with my choices.

Instead, I had to make do with enjoying his many appearances on radio shows including I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and The News Quiz, in which we were privileged to hear a man with an incisive mind cut through the propaganda of right-wing politics and neoliberalism with biting wit.

You can tell the quality of the man by the roll call of famous names that have come out to give tribute. Here are just a few, in no particular order. Some have tweeted clips of the late Mr Hardy’s legendary wit. Enjoy: – and feel free to leave your own tribute in the ‘comment’ box below:

The following message is particularly touching for those of us who were devotees of The News Quiz when it’s previous – legendary – mainstay, the late Alan Coren, was making it unmissable every week:

Here’s my own little tribute:

… and this is an example of how that might sound:

Of course it wouldn’t be a proper tribute without highlighting the fact that Mr Hardy spoke truth to power.

Here he is laying out the truth about Jeremy Corbyn – and exposing the lie about “Taking back control”:

And here he is speaking up for the National Health Service:

Oh, and one serious note that certain followers of This Site need to take to heart:

One thing I hope won’t happen – and we see it a lot with political comedy – is that Jeremy Hardy’s insight will be laid to rest with him.

People die and life moves on, yes – but the issues he discussed are still with us. Just look at some of the examples above: the Middle East is still a bloodbath, privatisation is still a blot on our services and utilities, Brexit is an ongoing farce and Jeremy Corbyn is still regularly accused of racism and terrorism by people of bad faith. Jeremy Hardy’s words put the opposing ideology in its proper context and I think those words should remain available as an antidote for when people on the other side try to present their nonsense to us.

Jeremy Hardy might have passed but his words should live on – because they are funny and true and they nourish us in hard times.


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in either print or eBook format here:

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Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook