Northern Ireland news

Cancer charity 'sickened' by cancellation of some surgeries

Action Cancer said it was disappointed by the cancellation of some surgeries

A CANCER charity said it was "sickened" by the cancellation of some surgeries.

Gareth Kirk, chief executive of Action Cancer, said he was "disappointed" by the situation, which he said was "cruel" for cancer patients.

It comes after the Belfast Health Trust said yesterday that it was cancelling some surgeries due to Covid-19 pressures.

Around 120 surgeries of all types have been called off this week.

Mr Kirk said the charity was "very concerned" by the situation for cancer patients.

"Our immediate reaction is that it is really sad, we are very disappointed - we are probably even sickened by what has happened,"he told the BBC's Good Morning Ulster.

"But to be truthfully honest, we are not particularly surprised.

"I think everyone, not just the cancer charities, had probably hoped what we experienced during the autumn and winter of last year was a one-off, that it wouldn't be repeated and yet we are now in July, the summer months that are generally very positive and we end up in this current situation.

"It is a critical situation, and a very difficult situation, but it is particularly difficult for those people who have been told that their cancer surgery has been at least suspended or delayed.

"That is hard, having got a cancer diagnosis, it is tough psychologically building up to the time of your surgery - your treatment is worrying and it is stressful and then to be led up probably to the top of the mountain and then taken down again is cruel."

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