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Older leukaemia patients face inequalities

28 March 2017 09:28

Older people face inequalities in leukaemia treatment

Older people face inequalities in leukaemia treatment

Researchers have highlighted a generation gap in treatment quality of leukaemia patients.

Leukaemia Care claims that even though the majority of leukaemia patients are over 65 there are inequalities in how they are treated compared with younger patients.

Young patients who are diagnosed with leukaemia have a greater chance of receiving a stem cell transplant - with just 12% of older patients likely to receive the treatment compared with 37% of younger.

Anyone who has suffered from cancer can arrange specialist medical travel insurance when going overseas.

Tory MP Henry Smith, who is chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Blood Cancer, said the findings were 'unacceptable' and called for better awareness of the condition.

He said: "This inequality in care and treatment is one of the reasons why the APPG on Blood Cancer has announced an inquiry into blood cancer care in the NHS. We need to find ways to increase awareness of this condition, as well as improve diagnosis rates and overall care for the elderly."

Zack Pemberton-Whiteley, head of campaigns and advocacy at Leukaemia Care, said the results shone a light on the "inequalities" that many older people with leukaemia face.

He said: "Awareness of leukaemia in the elderly and amongst GPs needs to be improved so that testing can be carried out quickly and patients have the best chance of accessing treatment which will improve their chances of survival."