So what really is happening in the cancer world? This is a question I ask myself frequently. If you look in the media, you will see very little. As always, there is the odd headline, talking about some miracle coming down the track. Way after most of us won’t need it. What about the NHS? Very little too, most people either striking, or trying to keep the incessant patient queues at bay. Let alone trying to catch up with those record breaking waiting lists. What about big pharma? Of course they are working very hard, as the world becomes increasingly reliant on their products. How are our giant cancer charities doing. Quite difficult to know really. Most seem to be worried about their own inclusivity and fundraising issues as they become less relevant by the week.
Who is actually working on behalf of the patient then? I wish I had an answer for you. As you can see from above, all the organisations you might think about, are more concerned with their own futures. Of course there has been little meaningful collaboration in recent years, which is why we are now in this position. Politicians, who are unfortunately in charge of major decision making, seem to have put healthcare, and certainly cancer, a long way down their to do list! The world is now so unstable, that it will take a very long time before they become a priority again.
Our country is so divided on most important subjects, that no groups have any effective influence. An ideal situation for our Government to deflect away from the real issues of the day! Whatever ‘systems’ we did have in place did not just collapse overnight. It was a long term erosion of care, finance and effective leadership. Thus the opposite is true. To reverse this malaise will also take many years, to remove the underlying rotten culture allowed to build over time.
Personally I find this so disappointing. As I know how much effort went into getting things at least to the level they were, a few years ago. Many years of my own life included here! We are so lucky to be living in the incredible time of technology, enabling us to do so many wondrous things at the touch of a button. But I don’t see cancer care moving at that same pace. With the old ways of working still holding us back. Nobody wanting to step out of line and do things innovatively. The very opposite of what is happening in many businesses today. Putting your fingers in your ears and sing la, la, la loudly, sadly does not eradicate the issue. It can only get worse. Waiting lists grow, and unnecessary deaths increase. Quality of life decreases as we simply struggle to deal with these numbers.
Perhaps, at long last we will be forced to change our approach to the cancer issue. Still too big to ignore. As we fight a losing battle with the numbers of people being affected, is it time for radical change? We cannot continue on this path. In my opinion, continuing to blast a high percentage of people with toxic drugs, can no longer be the answer. Financially or societally. There are now different ways of handling this beast, and it is time that people were told this! Even if the NHS only offers a limited menu. Without all the facts, we cannot make a really informed decision. Currently we are not getting all the facts.
As our nation gets sicker, surely then at least the finances count? The cost of dealing with more sick people can bring the country down. There will come a point when we just can’t afford it. Possibly we are there, even now! We talk about early diagnosis to help more people. That is an impossible dream as we sit here today. Not enough staff, or equipment, being two major obstacles.
I am searching daily, the different methods that people are choosing for dealing with their cancer. Across the globe and even in the UK there are many kinder ways of dealing with the body. This is not saying there are any miracle cures, but cutting, burning and poisoning have been going on far too long. We all deserve a lot better, including my children and grandchildren!
As always, these are my personal opinions based on my own experiences and communications. Please feel free to share your own below.
Drugs are thankfully progressing well to be less toxic, more targeted and r delivering better outcomes & improved QoL, thankfully. I’m not disagreeing with your statement but maintain through experience that great progress has been made in both education around lifestyle & R&D.
Hi Colin, I’m aware that you and I see both signs of the same coin. I would never deny there has been progress. I wouldn’t be alive otherwise. But it’s not relative to the resources put in. With increasing numbers this system is not sustainable.
Agree that lots of progress has been made. The lack of a 10 year cancer plan is a big negative as are health care inequalities that certainly need addressing. It’s ludicrous that you can get a drug in Scotland but not in rest of UK. Some cancers massively underfunded for research
That’s why I constantly question the ‘system.’ Improvement of course, but hit or miss if you get what you need when you need it. That is not right for any of us.
There’s been plenty of plans ten years, three years, I’ve read most. It’s about ownership, accountability & execution. There’s enough experience and knowledge around to deliver a step change & actually execute ‘A plan’ fully. Everyone wants to make a positive difference, I guess.