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Cancer patients may be missining out on radiotherapy according to MP

Posted on Feb 22, 2012

CANCER patients in Burnham and Highbridge may not be getting the best possible treatment, the MP representing the towns has claimed. Liberal Democrat Tessa Munt told MPs in the House of Commons how she conducted a survey of cancer centres in the UK to check up on treatments.

She said: “I have been trying to establish how much the NHS is using the latest radiotherapy techniques to help cure cancer patients in this country.

“The Secretary of State for Health told me in the Commons that 20 high tech machines in 25% of our centres provided Stereotactic body radiation therapy - SBRT.

“When I asked him for evidence he didn't have any. So I decided to find out for myself.”

Ms Munt, whose Wells constituency includes Burnham and Highbridge, said all bar one of the cancer centres in the UK had replied to her request.

She said: “There are nowhere near 20 machines delivering SBRT in the NHS. Equally, the idea that 25% of our cancer centres are providing this new treatment is fanciful.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “Cyberknife is one brand of machine capable of giving SABR. This is available on the NHS in over a quarter of all centres in England.”


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