Long Waits for Radiotherapy Linked to Increased Recurrence of Breast Cancer

By Cancerpartnersuk, PRNE
Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Professor Karol Sikora Comments on New Research Published in BMJ 3.03.10

LONDON, March 3, 2010 - A large US study published today shows that there is a strong
correlation between delay in accessing radiotherapy for breast cancer and the
incidence of local recurrence. A steady rise in recurrence developed when the
time from surgery to radiotherapy exceeded 8 weeks.

Professor Karol Sikora, Medical Director of CancerPartnersUK said:

"Oncologists have believed for some time that prompt access to
radiotherapy for breast cancer is important. This study demonstrates the
importance of timely intervention if the best results are to be obtained. It
also underpins the urgent need to implement the 31 day waiting target in the

Unfortunately the lack of machine capacity and trained staff
in many parts of the country means that it simply may not be possible.
Increasing our investment in radiotherapy is vital if we are to climb up the
European survival league for several common cancers.

New ways of working, better IT systems, developments in
technology and more trained staff are the key to giving our patients the best
results possible."

Further BMJ editorial comment:


CancerPartnersUK is an independent organisation set up by a group of
cancer experts to improve the overall quality and availability of cancer
services across the UK, particularly in radiotherapy. The organization works
with hospitals and healthcare companies to set up improved cancer care
facilities, through a combination of new technologies, highly qualified
medical teams and expert knowledge of cancer care pathways.

Contacts: Karol Sikora - +44(0)7901-556453; Lyn Wallace (PR) - +44(0)7734-101024 / lyn at wallacehcl.com

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