British cancer charities call for improved lung cancer care

Today, MPs are being urged to support cancer charities' call for the provision of modern equipment vital to the treatment of people living with lung cancer, six months after the Government first promised to produce a national framework.

Dr Ian Gibson MP, Chairman of the influential All-Party Parliamentary Cancer Group, has tabled an Early Day Motion (Parliamentary Petition) to help Macmillan Cancer Relief, The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, British Lung Foundation, CancerBACUP and Marie Curie Cancer Care in their call for the Government to produce its long-heralded framework on NHS Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scanning provision.

PET scanners can make a real difference in at least a quarter of all lung cancer cases, and other diseases, in saving patients from potentially unnecessary and costly surgery. There are currently only five scanners in the NHS used for routine clinical assessments and all are situated in London, compared with over 160 PET sites in the USA and over 120 sites in Europe (80 in Germany).

Peter Cardy, Chief Executive, Macmillan Cancer Relief, commenting on behalf of the coalition says, 'We urge MPs from all parties to support our call for better lung cancer treatment. It is now six months since the Government first announced plans to introduce a framework but as yet nothing has been seen.'

'PET scanners can make a real difference by saving patients from potentially unnecessary surgery. We need at least 15 PET scanners within the next five years to deal with the 38,000 lung cancer patients diagnosed each year. Currently, the UK lags behind the rest of Europe and the US in the provision of PET scanners. Lung cancer patients deserve to get equal access to the best treatment and care to improve their quality of life wherever they live. People living with lung cancer want to know now when the Government is actually going to publish its framework on NHS PET scanning.'

For further information, call Nicola Ryan at Macmillan's press office on tel. 020 7840 4689 (out of hours 07801 307068) or email: [email protected]

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