UP to 50,000 people have cancers which remain undiagnosed due to disruption caused by Covid-19, a charity says.
Macmillan Cancer Support says a further 33,000 should have started treatment, but have faced delays.
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And it could take 18 months to clear the backlog in a “best case scenario”, it warns.
But the number awaiting diagnosis could double to 100,000 within a year if hospitals grind to a halt over winter.
Macmillan says the backlog has been caused by people not going to see their GP, and NHS delays and cancellations.
Lynda Thomas, the charity’s chief executive, said: “Cancer care is at a crossroads and cannot be shut down this winter.
“Cancer doesn’t stop for Covid-19 and neither can our health services.”
The NHS has worked hard to maintain urgent cancer operations during the pandemic.
And it said the Macmillan analysis was “flawed” because it failed to account for recent service improvements.
Stroke help delay
NEARLY a third of patients who had a stroke in recent months delayed getting emergency help because of Covid, according to the Stroke Association.
Separate figures show record numbers of would-be doctors have applied to study medicine during the pandemic.
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