Cancer Care for Elders is Failing in Great Britain

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In Great Britain the Macmillan Cancer Support is concerned that treatment decisions are too often based on age, not on a patient’s overall fitness. A recent Department of Health study for instance found that age was a significant factor in determining treatment recommendations.

Macmillan’s own research highlights examples when patients have been told their age is the reason for them not receiving treatment. I have heard from a 67-year-old man who was told, when offered treatment options, that if he were 70 or over, it would be unlikely his doctor would offer surgery. There was no assessment of his health or fitness levels – his age was the only thing the doctor took into account.

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