In treating cancer successfully time is a vital factor. We know that in the UK late presentation is a significant problem, with patients delaying consulting a GP and reporting to A&E with advanced cancer.
The NHS faces massive challenges at the moment with both funding and recruitment which make it difficult to meet its targets. Recent statistics indicate growing problems in cancer treatment.
Click for Report
Patient groups can help encourage early presentation by raising awareness and supporting local Be Cancer Aware campaigns
Chris Curtis became involved with The Swallows, based in Blackpool some years ago. In 2016 he organised a patient conference in Liverpool. It has now become a two day event, with one day for professionals and another for patients and carers.
This year the event is taking place in Nottingham, in November. There is an impressive list of speakers and it provides a great opportunity for head and neck patients in the North Midlands to both share their views and hear of the experiences of others.
I can recall a conference organised by the former North Trent Cancer Network Consumer Research Panel in 2012 which focused on the present and future of radiotherapy. It was clear that the demand was growing significantly and that a second site delivering RT was needed in the locality. Meadowhall or Doncaster were cited as possible locations. Early in 2017 it was reported that plans to deliver RT at Doncaster were being shelved for financial reasons.
Recently, The Swallows head and neck group have drawn attention to a petition seeking to ensure sufficient funding is provided for the delivery of RT across the UK.
The lack of resources devoted to RT result in delays in treatment and also patients having to travel large distances to obtain life-saving treatment. This is a petition that deserves our support.
More information is available from Action Radiotherapy , who have organised the petition.