Alliance targets patchy cancer care

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The Independent Online
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CANCER patients and their families joined with surgeons, physicians and nurses yesterday in the first British campaign to ensure that patients receive state-of-the-art treatment and care wherever they live, writes Celia Hall.

The National Cancer Alliance is working to identify deficiences in cancer care which in the United Kingdom is patchy, fragmented and poorly co-ordinated. Outside London there are only 33 radiotherapy centres, more than half of which are at least an hour's drive away from a major cancer centre; 30 general hospitals have no cancer specialists; and there are only 80 specialists in chemotherapy, half of them paid for by universities and research grants, Dr Malcolm McIllmurray, head of oncology at the Lancashire Royal Infirmary, said.

The National Cancer Alliance, PO Box 579, Oxford, OX4 1LP; 0865 793566.