Steve Brine MP

for Winchester & Chandler's Ford

02 FEB 2011

Steve Brine speaks up for radiotherapy

The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP has called for action after hearing how radiotherapy is a cornerstone of cancer treatment yet people are still missing out.

Steve Brine voiced his support for action on radiotherapy at an awareness-raising Cancer Research UK event in Parliament on Tuesday 25th January.

He heard how radiotherapy has a bigger impact on curing cancers each year than all the new drugs put together.

The event coincided with the Government's launch of the National Radiotherapy Awareness Initiative to improve the public's understanding of the importance of radiotherapy.

The Winchester & Chandler's Ford MP heard experts describe how a lack of awareness about radiotherapy's importance is having a serious impact on providing world class treatment in the UK.

He also heard that the delivery of radiotherapy services differs around the country, partly due to the number of machines available and the amount of highly-skilled, sufficiently trained staff needed to deliver this complex service.

Some people are still waiting for too long before receiving their treatment and some cutting-edge radiotherapy treatments, which are available across America and parts of Europe, are not available to all people in certain parts of the country.

Mr Brine said: "Only 14 per cent of people in the UK are aware that half of all cancer patients could benefit from radiotherapy. I want all people with cancer here in Winchester & Chandler's Ford to access world class radiotherapy when they need it."

"I am also concerned that the UK is lagging behind other countries in making newer, more targeted radiotherapy technologies available to everyone. I urge the government to work with the NHS and organisations like Cancer Research UK to tackle the inequalities in radiotherapy treatment in this country and make the service amongst the best in Europe."

Hilary Tovey, Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Cancer Research UK believes that everyone deserves the best cancer treatment. Radiotherapy is one of the cornerstones of cancer treatment, along with surgery and chemotherapy."

"We want dedicated radiotherapy staff in place in sufficient numbers and with the right training to deliver the best services. There have been huge advances in radiotherapy in the last decade and we want the best technologies to be available to everyone who needs them."

"The demand on radiotherapy services is likely to grow in the future. That's why we are putting our full support behind the work of the National Radiotherapy Awareness Initiative. Cancer Research UK is calling for an action plan for radiotherapy to make sure that all patients have access to the best radiotherapy treatments regardless of where they live."

Mrs Tovey added: "MPs have a key role to play in raising awareness of radiotherapy and in urging the government to take action. We are very grateful to Mr Brine for helping us to spread this life-saving message."

Pictured; Steve joins Shurron Phull, of Cancer Research UK, at the Commons launch.

More information ...

For further information, please contact Laura McCann, Cancer Research UK Public Affairs Officer, on 020 3469 8499

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