Belfast Telegraph

UK age bias in treatment of leukaemia, says report

By Jane Kirby

Older patients with leukaemia face poorer access to treatments and good quality care than younger ones, according to a new report.

The study, from the charity Leukaemia Care, found that older patients are twice as likely as younger patients to die from leukaemia, and are not always offered prompt or adequate treatment, based solely on their age.

This is despite the fact 64% of the more than 9,500 new cases of leukaemia in the UK every year are among those aged 65 and over.

The report said GPs are half as likely to suspect the cancer in older people, while those diagnosed with the condition are three times less likely than younger patients to receive a potentially lifesaving stem cell transplant (12% compared to 37%).

The charity also said up to 740 deaths of people over the age of 65 could be prevented if UK survival rates for leukaemia matched the best in Europe.

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