“Britain’s Cancer Crisis” – APPG on Radiotherapy responds

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Coinciding with tonight’s Panorama, reporting on the cancer crisis facing the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic, the APPG for Radiotherapy is launching a six point plan to transform radiotherapy services aiming to save thousands of lives from being unnecessarily lost to the cancer backlog.

Unlike many treatments disrupted by the pandemic, radiotherapy does not need intensive care capacity like surgery, and it doesn’t have the impact on immunity often associated with chemotherapy.

It is relatively inexpensive compared to other cancer treatments and in recent years the technology used in treatments has rapidly advanced. However, it is claimed that little of this improved technology is actually deployed in the NHS.

Chair of Action Radiotherapy, founder of Radiotherapy4Life and advisor to the APPGRT, Professor Pat Price said: “Thousands of lives are at stake. Lifesaving radiotherapy treatments must be a key part of the cancer recovery plan. Not the afterthought they have been for so many years. This report paves the way for delivering world class radiotherapy and dealing with the predicted surge in demand on our cancer services.”  

The APPGRT plan offers simple, smart and cost-effective changes which would allow services to rapidly catch up and even surpass international comparisons.

Chair of the APPGRT Tim Farron MP said: “We absolutely need a plan if we are to avoid a national tragedy brought about by the cancer backlog. We can no longer make excuses for not delivering smart changes which will boost radiotherapy to become a key pillar in our cancer recovery plan. We have an opportunity to transform our radiotherapy services, boost cancer survival rates and save lives from the disruption to services caused by Covid.”

You can read the six point plan here and Panorama Britain’s Cancer Crisis is on BBC One tonight (Monday) at 7.30 pm.  

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