Cancer moves under the spotlight

PATIENTS in Suffolk will be given their chance to speak about cancer services in the county this week.

PATIENTS in Suffolk will be given their chance to speak about cancer services in the county this week.

Plans to scrap pancreatic cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital and treat patients at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge will be under the microscope in the town tomorrow.

The East of England Specialised Commissioning Group (SCG), which came up with the proposals, is hosting a consultation meeting at the St Elizabeth Hospice in Foxhall Road.

The SCG is also pushing through controversial changes which will see heart attack patients treated outside Suffolk.

At Friday's event there will be a morning drop-in session between 10am to midday where people can chat informally with NHS professionals, and an afternoon discussion workshop where proposals will be discussed in greater detail.

People are being encouraged to pop along for a chat in the morning or to book their place at the afternoon workshop.

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The changes are similar to the switch to treating head and neck cancer surgery patients at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, rather than Ipswich Hospital, which was the subject of a consultation last year.

Patients, charities, politicians, clinicians, health bodies and Sir Bobby Robson, opposed the changes, but they went ahead anyway.

Dr Rory Harvey, Consultant Gastro-enterologist at Bedford Hospital, said he thought changing the way pancreatic cancer patients were treated would result in higher quality care.

He added: “A specialised centre would improve survival chances, give patients a better chance of having longer with their families and provide a better quality of life.”

For more information, including consultation documents and feedback forms, visit the pancreatic cancer pages at www.escg.nhs.uk, contact Ros Stevenson on 01371 877265 or e-mail pancreatic@eoescg.nhs.uk.

What do you think about plans to scrap pancreatic cancer surgery at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a rare cancer with around 7,600 new cases a year diagnosed in the UK.

Pancreatic cancer mainly appears in older people with 75 per cent of patients aged 65 or over.

The chances of having pancreatic cancer are fairly low - around 1 in 96 for men and 1 in 95 for women.

It has the lowest survival chances of any cancer and is the sixth most common cause of all cancer deaths.

The latest figures published suggest that only around 13 pc patients survive beyond 12 months after diagnosis and only 2 to 3 pc of patients survive beyond five years.

SOURCE: SCG

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