Amanda Rogers’ husband, Adrian, from Nottinghamshire, was diagnosed with a stage four bowel cancer in July 2018 and, after several cycles of chemotherapy, he was registered for surgery at Manchester.
The potentially life-saving surgery was scheduled for March of last year, but in April, she was told it could not take place as hospitals across the country struggled to balance the growing needs of COVID-19[feminine[feminine the patients.
Ms Rogers told Sky News: “It was devastating – all of the chemo (surgery) was what we had been working for… and Adrian was absolutely devastated, as was I. “
While Mr Rogers waited, his cancer developed – eventually becoming inoperable – and he suffered from liver failure and died in February of this year at the age of 46.
His wife said: “It could have been such a different outcome.
“You have a lot of” what if “- if COVID had never been here, he would have had his surgery and things could have been totally different. “
But the couple’s experience was not unique.
The British Medical Association (BMA) estimated that there were 3.5 million fewer elective procedures performed between April of last year and March of this year.
There were also 22.27 million fewer outpatient visits, which are often the ones where problems like cancer are first confirmed after being referred by a general practitioner.
NHS data shows there were more than five million people waiting to start treatment in England in April – the highest number ever recorded.
At the same time, the surge in cases of the Delta coronavirus The variant risks putting pressure on hospitals again, especially those in the Midlands and northern England.
All this will be on the agenda of Sajid Javid, who has replaced Matt Hancock as health secretary.
When asked what she would say to Mr Javid, Ms Rogers said: ‘Don’t let cancer patients be the forgotten people of COVID. They need urgent treatment – time counts when you have cancer. “
BMA Board Chairman Chaand Nagpaul said, “Many (patients awaiting treatment) will become increasingly ill over time.
“Many of them have health problems which, if not treated quickly, will get worse.
“What he (Mr Javid) will have to do is manage this crisis in a way that prioritizes and he will have to be honest with the public about how long it is going to take. ”