This morning I was rung by the production team from World at One, on BBC Radio 4, who had heard my BBC Radio 5 Live piece, and wanted to run something similar. There is a lot of rumbling about the number of people who have missed diagnoses (anticipated 18,000-35,000), and how those with ongoing treatment (such as me) have been affected by COVID and its impact upon health services. (Listen here; Audio file)
There’s a brief segment at 25 seconds into the programme (talking about lights off in MCRC), but the main segment is at 31:25 minutes in to 40:32. I’d had a 25 minute chat with the producer, and then around 15 minutes of recording with Sarah pre-programme – and they have left an amazing amount of what I said in in the edits … we’d also talked about what going into treatment was like (the plastic sheeting, etc), the impact upon prognosis, and the joy of having a bubble family, some digital connections.
- 18,000+ missed cancer diagnoses says DATA-CAN
- Impact of being in New Zealand, getting home, waiting for scans
- Instead of 3 monthly scans, waiting 6 weeks for scan/2 for results (hospitalised)
- Not cold-capping partly because can’t take anyone to distract me
- Not having friends popping round, although mental health walks important.
- Stopping of research trials, less money £ to cancer charities, less trials
- METUP-UK Aims beyond the ‘pink and fluffy’
*and if you can hear me sniff, sorry, that’s a side-effect of my treatment, get a bloody nose.
They then spoke to Sara Hyam from Cancer Research UK about what is needed from the NHS to be able to catch up (which needs to be over 100%) and the numbers missed from tests and referrals. 120-180% of current capacity needed, anticipating Sept-Oct peak in demand for treatment as diagnostic services recover. And we need the lights back on in the research centres…
All of this on the day that Sarah Harding (singer with Girls Aloud) announced that she has ‘advanced breast cancer’ (struggling a bit with the ‘fight’ language, and people telling her that by ‘being positive’ she can beat it – that’s not how it works) – anyway – prayers with Sarah that she’s got a good team around her, and people to talk to:
I hope you are all keeping safe and well during these uncertain times. I’ve not posted on here for so long, thank you to everyone who has reached out to check in on me, it really does mean a lot.
I feel now is the right time to share what’s been going on. pic.twitter.com/gxzOAl71vS
— Sarah Harding (@SarahNHarding) August 26, 2020
Dr Bex Lewis is passionate about helping people engage with the digital world in a positive way, where she has more than 20 years’ experience. She is Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Research Fellow at St John’s College, Durham University, with a particular interest in digital culture, persuasion and attitudinal change, especially how this affects the third sector, including faith organisations, and, after her breast cancer diagnosis in 2017, has started to research social media and cancer. Trained as a mass communications historian, she has written the original history of the poster Keep Calm and Carry On: The Truth Behind the Poster (Imperial War Museum, 2017), drawing upon her PhD research. She is Director of social media consultancy Digital Fingerprint, and author of Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst (Lion Hudson, 2014; second edition in process) as well as a number of book chapters, and regularly judges digital awards. She has a strong media presence, with her expertise featured in a wide range of publications and programmes, including national, international and specialist TV, radio and press, and can be found all over social media, typically as @drbexl.