Sunday Times restaurant critic AA Gill described how the NHS could not give him a potentially life-extending cancer treatment in his final article. The columnist died on Saturday aged 62, three weeks after revealing he had the “full English” of cancers. Gill, writing in the Sunday Times magazine, said his oncologist recommended immunotherapy, but it was not available on the NHS. It would have meant “more life spent on earth – but only if you can pay”. The former smoker was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to his neck and pancreas, with tumours that were inoperable and unsuitable for radiotherapy, after noticing his health failing in the autumn. Gill said he had been denied the therapy – costing up to £100,000 ($126,000) a year – that may have helped him live “considerably” longer and is the weapon of choice for “every oncologist in the First World”. He said that the cost of the treatment suggested – nivolumab – was £60,000 to £100,000 a year for a lung cancer patient, about four times the cost of chemotherapy. Gill said that “old men who think they’re going to die anyway aren’t very effective activists” and do not see the “public or press pressure that young mothers’ cancers and kids’ diseases get”. He added: “As yet, immunotherapy isn’t a cure, it’s a stretch more life, a considerable bit of life.”More life with your kids, more life with your friends, more life holding hands, more life shared, more life spent on earth – but only if you can pay.”

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