Hospital hits radiotherapy targets

IPSWICH Hospital is hitting the mark when it comes to radiotherapy treatment, it emerged today.All patients are being seen for treatment within the maximum recommended time of four weeks while in some parts of the country people are having to wait up to 18 weeks.

IPSWICH Hospital is hitting the mark when it comes to radiotherapy treatment, it emerged today.

All patients are being seen for treatment within the maximum recommended time of four weeks while in some parts of the country people are having to wait up to 18 weeks.

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: “We have no patients waiting more than four weeks for this type of treatment, which is within all government guidelines.

“The only time someone would wait longer than this is if there was a clinical reason for deciding to delay the start of treatment.”

A study by the British Medical Journal found that many other centres had substantial waiting lists despite their efforts to stop this happening.

Dr David Dodwell and Dr Adrian Crellin, cancer specialists at Cookridge Hospital in Leeds, carried out the study and found that getting rapid treatment could substantially affect patients' chances of survival.

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In a study of cervical cancer, a longer waiting time for radiotherapy reduced the chance of the patient surviving.

Research into head and neck cancers found that patients waiting more than six weeks for post-operative radiotherapy were three times more likely to have the disease return.

And in breast cancer, patients were at a 60pc increased risk of the disease returning if the delay between surgery and radiotherapy went beyond eight weeks.