Twelve times as many people are now dying of cancer than from Covid-19.
Figures show that 36 people on average died each day from coronavirus over the past week, down from a peak seven-day average of 1,280 in mid-January. By comparison, cancer is claiming 450 lives every day, or about 166,000 annually.
Experts say that unless the NHS urgently expands cancer services to deal with a huge backlog, thousands will become ‘collateral damage’ of the pandemic.
Figures show that 36 people on average died each day from coronavirus over the past week. By comparison, cancer is claiming 450 lives every day (stock picture)
Professor Karol Sikora, of Rutherford Cancer Centres, said: ‘Every day, 1,000 people in Britain will be told they have cancer for the first time. But when Covid peaked, this dropped precipitously. Where did the missing patients go? They exist and their diagnosis was significantly delayed. Now many will die.’
Even before the second wave hit, Cancer Research UK estimated last summer that Covid could cause an extra 35,000 cancer deaths.
NHS England said: ‘People should not be deterred from coming forward for checks or treatment. Most cancer services are operating at pre-pandemic levels.’