Is there ageism in cancer treatments offered?
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Macmillan Cancer, AGE UK and the Department of Health joined forces to review the cancer treatment received by older people. On the Today programme, a cancer patient explained how he had felt that he had been written off because of his age and that treatment options which might have been considered for younger people had not been offered to him.
The review has recommended physical and mental health tests for older cancer patients so that proper assessments are made to indicate who will tolerate treatment.
It is encouraging that the Department of Health recognise this problem and are seeking to address it. As health improves and people live longer, inevitably the number of older people with cancer will rise. The review has called for better training for cancer staff so that patients are provided with the right support so that elderly people are able to have treatment.
Clinical Negligence team
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