Cancer Crisis: 'I'm fearful for my own life', caller tells Eddie Mair

10 June 2021, 11:40

By Tim Dodd

A caller with a potentially cancerous lump hasn't been seen by a doctor during the pandemic as she doesn't have the technology for video appointments.

It comes as an LBC investigation shows fewer than one-in-five hospital trusts are hitting their target for offering cancer patients their first treatment within two months.

Speaking to Eddie Mair, Jane in Weston-super-Mare began by saying: "I first became aware of maybe having cancer in February 2020.

"It was a growth on my back, I shared it with my flatmate. I thought at first it was a bite. I haven't been able to get to a doctor's surgery, I can never get through. I spend days sometimes ringing.

"I don't have a computer or a smartphone, I had no one to help me, and my diagnosis I believe was held up for 7 and a half weeks, which puts me into stage 3 cancer - the chances of it being there, which I already think it is. It's really, really scary."

Eddie then asked: "When you worried about the lump first back in February, did you contact your GP at least?"

Jane replied: "I tried to, and I couldn't get through. I spoke to a doctor on two separate occasions back in the pandemic, because there were no face-to-face appointments, things were done on Zoom or over a computer which I don't have, so I relied on telephone call.

"I called them twice and they sent me back text messages to get in contact by Zoom, or send them photographs."

"So what's the situation now Jane?", Eddie asked.

"I don't know what's going to happen to me, I just don't know. I just wanted to bring it to the fore... I'm really fearful for my own life."

LBC's analysis of NHS England data shows that back in March 2019, more than 40% of hospital trusts met their target of offering 85% of cancer patients treatment within 62 days. But by March this year, that had slipped to just 17%.