Keep cancer services in Ipswich - expert

A NATIONAL cancer charity today urged people to back The Evening Star's campaign to keep head and neck cancer surgery in Ipswich.The Mouth Cancer Foundation, which supports people with mouth, throat and other head and neck cancers, has criticised the recommendation to scrap the service at Ipswich Hospital and move it to Norwich.

Rebecca Lefort

A NATIONAL cancer charity today urged people to back The Evening Star's campaign to keep head and neck cancer surgery in Ipswich.

The Mouth Cancer Foundation, which supports people with mouth, throat and other head and neck cancers, has criticised the recommendation to scrap the service at Ipswich Hospital and move it to Norwich.

Dr Vinod Joshi, founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, said: “Moving head and neck surgeries from Ipswich Hospital to Norwich Hospital would have a detrimental effect on local head and neck patients.

“The 80 plus mile round trip from Ipswich to Norwich will have a major impact on the lives of the sufferer and their families.

“Head and neck surgery is very invasive and debilitating. After such a traumatic surgery the sufferer needs loved ones there to help and support them.

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“The distance to get to the hospital for visiting hours is too far and this is unacceptable.

“Everything should be done to try and keep head and neck surgeries moving from Ipswich Hospital.

“With mouth cancer cases on the increase this campaign is more important than ever.

“In the UK, there were 7,697 cases in 2004 and mouth cancer kills one person every three hours in the UK because of late detection.

“Sign the petition and make a difference.”

The Anglia Cancer Network has recommended moving the service to comply with national guidelines and has rejected the option of creating a joint surgery service between Ipswich and Norwich.

Suffolk Primary Care Trust is consulting on the plans and a meeting will be held in Eye on Monday between 2pm and 4pm.

For more information visit www.suffolkpct.nhs.uk.

So far more than 1,200 people have signed The Evening Star's petition to keep the head and neck cancer services at Ipswich Hospital.

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