British Denied Cancer Surgery – Due To Age | Sweetness & Light

British Denied Cancer Surgery – Due To Age

From the UK’s Daily Mail:

The breast cancer patients TOO OLD to save: Thousands are being denied surgery by ‘ageist’ doctors

By Sophie Borland

16th June 2011

Elderly women are being denied life-saving breast cancer surgery that is routinely given to younger patients, alarming research reveals. Some doctors look at a patient’s age in their notes – and decide on a treatment plan before they have even met them, experts warn.

Their study, which provides evidence of ageism in the Health Service, found that 90 per cent of breast cancer patients aged 30-50 are offered surgery to remove tumours, compared with 70 per cent of those in their seventies. Even women in their 50s are less likely than younger patients to have an operation.

Cancer specialist Dr Mick Peake said: ‘I’ve seen evidence of ageism when doctors are approaching the issue. Some take age as disproportionate evidence, often when they’ve never even met the patient.

Where is the outrage? We thought breast cancer was one or the more politically correct diseases.

‘I’d like patients and relatives to bang their fists on the table and say, “Why aren’t we getting this treatment?”,’ added Dr Peake, of the National Cancer Intelligence Network, which carried out the research.

An operation to remove part or all of the breast is the most effective treatment for breast cancer…

According to the research, just 87 per cent of women in their fifties – who are normally otherwise fit and healthy – have surgery, falling to 82 per cent of those aged 60 to 70.

Only half of over-80s, and 33 per cent of those over 85, are offered surgery…

Sarah Woolnough, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘This data means we need to ask serious questions about whether ageism exists in breast cancer surgery.

‘Surgery is one of the most effective treatments for cancer so it’s crucial that as many women as possible are given the opportunity to have an operation to remove their breast tumour.

‘We need to understand more about why the number of women having breast surgery drops off with age and ensure they’re not being denied potentially life-saving treatment simply based on their age.’ …

Previous estimates claim that 15,000 elderly die prematurely every year because cancer care on the NHS is not as good as that provided elsewhere in Europe and the U.S. …

Of course the UK doesn’t have anything like ‘death panels.’ And neither does Obama-care.

People will just die on their own. Any lack of treatment will have nothing to do with it.

(Thanks to Melly for the heads up.)

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via British Denied Cancer Surgery – Due To Age | Sweetness & Light.

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