Nearly 50 cancer charities send a stark warning about the impact of Covid-19

Cancer death rate will rise for the first time in decades

Hugh Bettesworth, CEO, Mirada Medical

One Cancer Voice coalition’s warning that the cancer death rate will rise for the first time in decades, without funding and technological investment, is a stark reminder of the critical juncture we are at in cancer care. 

“Now, more than ever, we must do more to support frontline staff and patients as the health service seeks to tackle the backlog. This means empowering hospitals to embed innovative techniques and technologies into the cancer care workflow to alleviate the pressure on healthcare teams and deliver faster patient outcomes. 

One example is making hypofractionation radiotherapy mainstream. This is a technique whereby patients receive fewer treatments at a higher dosage rate – to reduce the number of radiation sessions required and improve the efficiency of the treatment process. In addition to using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate elements of the radiotherapy treatment planning process to save time and free up clinicians to treat more patients.

While the NHS is already a significant advocate of AI, practical change is required to kickstart the roll-out of these innovative approaches. Investment and training on new technologies must be prioritized to prevent the anticipated rise in the cancer death rate. Crucially, the NHS and healthcare organizations must explore a more collaborative approach to efficiently delivering cancer care to continue to save lives and clear the backlog.”