YOUR headline "Pain-free laser breakthrough on cancer" (8 March) highlights a very promising new form of treatment for cancer sufferers found suitable for it. My experiences are relevant in this connection.

After major colon surgery, secondaries were found on my liver and the specialists considered me suitable for laser treatment. It entailed two nights at a London hospital. I had the treatment under local anaesthesia which was not only extremely painful but my blood pressure rose to 260. Next morning I was cheerfully told by a doctor that a CT scan showed my cancer had been destroyed and I could travel home. I slept all the way from exhaustion. This state persisted for two months. The professor in charge then suggested I visit him. Although he had not operated on me, he informed me that I was after all not a suitable case for laser treatment but he had prolonged my life by two years. There was no time to ask questions such as "two years from when?". Also, since then it has emerged that my cancer has not been destroyed.

Stephen Dale

Amersham, Buckinghamshire