Belfast Telegraph

Cancer care is ageist, claims top academic

BY MICHAEL McHUGH

Older people are being denied proper access to cancer care, an academic has said.

A high proportion of older women with a certain form of breast cancer receive less chemotherapy than their younger counterparts, Professor Mark Lawler from Queen's University Belfast claimed.

More than 70% of deaths caused by prostate cancer in the UK occur in men aged over 75, who usually have more aggressive forms of the disease, but in most cases they are denied chemotherapy for advanced cases.

Prof Lawler said: "We need a fundamental change in cancer policy for the elderly patient.

"Our current practices are essentially ageist, as we are making judgements based on how old the patient is rather than on their capacity to be entered into clinical trials or to receive potentially curative therapy."

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