The 10 Downing Street press conferences on Covid-19 tend not to show graphs about cancer care. We see various charts by statisticians and epidemiologists, but the impact of lockdown on patients with time critical conditions such as cancer has been largely ignored. The disruption of cancer services is a global phenomenon, but the suspension of screening services and failure to protect cancer services in the UK has resulted in 40,000 less cancers being diagnosed last year, compared to 2019.
The true scale of the cancer backlog has yet to be acknowledged by the UK government, far less prioritised with specific additional funding. Denial could cost lives. Any future cancer strategy simply has to start with an acknowledgement of what has just happened, which came on top of pretty poor pre-pandemic cancer services.