Most chemotherapy in this situation, though, is intended partly to prolong good quality life for as long as possible (and this can often be counted in years) and also to make patients as comfortable as we can. For instance, can he seriously be suggesting we should deny treatment to women whose breast cancer spreads to their bones? This can lead to pain and disability.
Should we really tell these women they must put up with it, when we know treatment can bring relief? I doubt that many infertile couples would wish to condemn cancer patients in this way, however strong may be their wish to have children.
Professor Lilford's polemic merely blurs the real issue: that of chronic underfunding of the NHS.
Director of Clinical Research
Imperial Cancer Research Fund
London, WC2Reuse content