Cancer one of the biggest killers in the West is feared by all so long as a cure remains elusive. And while those who beat the disease into remission will count themselves lucky many continue to suffer other serious medical conditions which arise as a sideeffect of their cancer treatment.
According to Macmillan Cancer Support conditions such as osteoarthritis heart disease and bowel trouble are common affecting as many as 2030% of cancer patients. Around 2 million people in the UK suffer from cancer so that amounts to approximately 400500000 people: not an insignificant figure.
Half A Million Cancer Patients Suffering From Serious Secondary Conditions
Professor Jane Maher of Macmillan has come out and said that GPs are ‘failing cancer patients’ by not spotting these conditions. This is due in part to GPs’ lack of knowledge of the disease: not knowing how common these problems are nor what they should be looking for.
But a big onus is placed on the cancer specialists and hospital staff to effectively communicate the nature of an individual’s cancer and the treatment they have undergone to ensure GPs have the full picture.
Record keeping is another area in dire need of improvement with more accurate recording needed of the type of cancer suffered and related details. Shockingly GPs do not record whether a patient has undergone radiotherapy or chemotherapy to treat their cancer and if this isn’t recorded how could they know if one or the other has contributed to a current medical condition?
Ignorance And Poor Communication Prolongs Suffering
Cancer sufferers who have battled bravely to overcome the disease deserve better. That so many suffer longer than necessary with a secondary condition undiagnosed either through ignorance or miscommunication is wholly unacceptable.
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