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4th Jan 2021

Prince of Wales warns of ‘Forgotten C’

Fears over the risks to cancer patients in the COVID pandemic have been highlighted by the Prince of Wales.

In an article in The Daily Telegraph, he warns that cancer risks becoming the “Forgotten C” as vital operations and treatments are cancelled.

He adds that the pandemic has taken a “devastating toll” on cancer services and that the cancelled operations are creating “despair”.

The Prince, who is patron of Macmillan Cancer Support, writes: “In many cases, due to the pandemic, difficulties have become crises, a sense of isolation has become actual separation, and – as vital treatment or surgery has been postponed – anxiety has become despair.”

Disruption to fundraising

He adds: “Macmillan has been adapting to this ever-evolving situation to ensure that cancer does not become ‘the Forgotten C’ during the pandemic but, even so, Covid-19 has still taken a devastating toll, with the charity losing a third of its fundraised income.”

Cancelled fundraising events mean that Macmillan expects a loss of £175 million over the next three years.

An estimated 33,000 people should have started cancer treatment but were unable to do so because of disruption caused by coronavirus. According to Macmillan, up to 50,000 people could be living with undiagnosed cancer as a result of delays to NHS services.

I would like to renew assurances that patients can feel confident about visiting cancer services.

The most rigorous efforts have been taken to ensure they are COVID-secure. Wherever possible, I am also conducting consultations by phone or video conference and only invite patients for appointments in person or treatments where absolutely necessary.

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