Cancer victim: Keep services in Suffolk

A CANCER victim who received life saving treatment from Ipswich Hospital's head and neck service has today called for the surgery to remain in Suffolk.

A CANCER victim who received life saving treatment from Ipswich Hospital's head and neck service has today called for the surgery to remain in Suffolk.

Widow Doreen Rolando is backing The Evening Star's Cancer Care - Keep It Here campaign, launched in response to recommendations that head and neck cancer surgery is scrapped from the hospital.

Mrs Rolando 74, of Blandford Road, Ipswich, said she had received outstanding care when she developed a tumour in her saliva glands ten years ago and was treated at Ipswich.

She said: “The care was wonderful and so were the staff.

“At the time my husband was alive and he was able to visit me throughout while I stayed in hospital for the surgery.

“I think it would have been awful and a lot more stressful if I'd had to go to Norwich.”

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Mrs Rolando, who is still battling cancer which has now spread to her liver, said the proposals to move surgery to Norwich made her feel like a number rather than a patient.

She added: “When we have a perfectly good hospital here in Ipswich I fail to see the logic of having to travel miles to a strange place.

“It might work out on paper but as for the patients, well we just seem to be a number now and if the numbers don't add up changes get made without thinking.

“They do not realise what it will do to the patients and the staff.”

Sir Bobby Robson, who is battling cancer for the fifth time, has also come out in support of the Star's campaign.

The Anglia Cancer Network has recommended sending all head and neck cancer surgery cases from Ipswich to Norwich in order to comply with national guidelines.

It said better treatment could be provided in specialist centres and that Ipswich Hospital does not treat enough cases of head and neck cancer each year or serve a large enough population to qualify as one of the centres.

Initial diagnosis and follow-up care would still be provided at Ipswich Hospital but concerns have been raised by experts about the impact it would have on the hospital's oral and maxillofacial department.

Are you concerned about head and neck cancer services moving to Norwich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.