Beating bowel cancer together

Northern Ireland health trust cancels cancer treatment due to rise in coronavirus admissions

Monday 26 October 2020

More than 100 cancer procedures in Northern Ireland have been cancelled due to the rise in coronavirus admissions.

Belfast Health Trust confirmed that they are having to cancel surgery and diagnostic tests in order to expand their Covid-19 intensive care unit teams.

So far 106 procedures have been cancelled including both surgeries and diagnostic tests in Belfast, and Western Health Trust cancelled 14 ‘red flag’ surgeries as they could not facilitate overnight stays.

Dr Chris Hagan, medical director of the Belfast Trust, said: "I am really sorry. The last thing we would ever have wanted to do is cancel those operations. I'm trying to reassure people that we will do our absolute utmost to reschedule those cases as quickly as we possibly can so that those patients don't come to any harm."

Sarah Christie, Operations Manager for Northern Ireland at Bowel Cancer UK, says: “The last thing cancer patients need right now is more disruption to vital cancer services.

“It’s critical that cancer patients and those experiencing symptoms can get the tests and treatment they need quickly. Bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Northern Ireland, but it’s treatable and curable, especially when diagnosed and treated early.

“The coronavirus pandemic has put unprecedented pressure on the Health Service, especially those that work in diagnostic services as they see first-hand the impact of postponed and cancelled treatment can have on patients and their loved ones.”

We urge anybody who is worried about a cancelled appointment or procedure to contact their cancer team, and if you’re concerned about possible bowel cancer symptoms please contact your GP.

Medical professional checking their watch

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