A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has voiced his support for action on radiotherapy at an awareness-raising Cancer Research UK event in Parliament.
Ian Lavery, whose Wansbeck constituency includes Morpeth, heard how the treatment has a bigger impact on curing cancers each year than all the new drugs put together.
Experts described how a lack of awareness about the importance of radiotherapy is having a serious impact on providing world class treatment in Britain.
Another issue raised was the differences in the delivery of this service around the UK, partly due to the number of machines available and the amount of highly-skilled, sufficiently trained staff needed.
Those attending were also told that 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 Lavery 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 in Wansbeck 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.”
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.