How COVID effects cancer patients | Davis Blank Furniss Solicitors

The Lancet Oncology is a monthly journal for clinical cancer specialists worldwide.  Within the July 2020 edition, an interesting article considers the effect Covid-19 on patients with cancer.

According to global cancer statistics, there were an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases and 9.6 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2018. Sadly, these millions of patients with cancer are more susceptible to this disease than the general population.  They are more likely to develop severe complications, as cancer and anti-cancer therapies, such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and surgery suppress a patient’s immune system.

In this urgent situation doctors have to consider the clinical features, risk factors and outcomes of patients with cancer and weigh them against the risks of Covid-19.  The more advanced the tumour the more serious the risk.  Should anti-cancer treatment be postponed during the Covid-19 pandemic? On the one hand we have to consider the pressure upon our health services, but this may lead to patients with cancer having reduced access to hospital and an inability to receive necessary medications in a timely fashion.

The Lancet reports that all aspects of cancer treatment have been affected from not only screening, referral and clinical testing and diagnosis but treatment and follow up of patients with cancer.

More worryingly a report from the Netherlands has shown a decrease in cancer diagnosis during the Covid-19 pandemic with the overall rate of cancer diagnosis decreasing by 27% from January 6th to March 2nd 2020.  Perhaps patients are anxious about being exposed to the virus in a healthcare setting and might struggle to consult with a General Practitioner in the midst of strict social distancing and lockdown policy.  Treatments for people with cancer are therefore being delayed.  As a result, some patients are at an increased risk of disease progression and tumour relapse or even death whilst waiting for treatment.

Extreme caution is therefore called for when doctors consider delaying life saving cancer therapies.  Postponing cancer care needs to be considered in the light of all implications. The Lancet suggests that patients should be categorised into low, moderate or high risk of disease progression.  Lung and pancreatic, acute leukaemia and highly aggressive lymphoma should be treated without delay.  For others, delaying therapeutic intervention might be considered but only if such a modification of treatment will not affect the long-term outcome.

If your cancer treatment has been delayed as a result of Covid-19 or your diagnosis has been delayed, then our Medical Negligence team maybe able to assist you.

For more information, please contact me via or call 0161 832 3304.


Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google