19 Apr 2021

Cancer treatment delays devastating families

From Nine To Noon, 9:09 am on 19 April 2021

The Cancer Society says there are chronic problems with cancer treatment in most of our DHBs with unacceptably long wait times for surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Data collected by the Health Ministry show only three out of twenty DHBs are meeting targets to treat patients with a "high suspicion" of cancer within two months.

In Southland, Kathryn Harper was diagnosed with lung cancer in January, which would have been curable, but ongoing delays meant that by March, the tumour was no longer treatable. 

Kathryn Ryan speaks with her daughter Kate McHugh, and Chris Jackson, medical director at the Cancer Society. 

Photo of woman supporting dying mother with cancer

Photo: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz photographee.eu / 123RF