Cancer Patients Made To Wait Longer Than Ever For Urgent Tests .. Patients needing urgent…
A Lack Of Trained Doctors For Cancer Patients ..
Thousands of cancer patients are being denied access to better treatment because of a lack of trained doctors, according to an ‘alarming’ Government report.
One in four cancer patients who receive radiotherapy in hospitals would benefit from the latest techniques, but some hospitals do not offer the treatment or provide it for only 0.1% of sufferers, officials say.
Intensity modulated radiotherapy treatment (IMRT) is more accurate, has fewer side effects and avoids damage to healthy tissue, enabling patients to recover more quickly. But a Department of Health report found that only four cancer centres out of 50 in England offer the treatment to all those who might benefit, because many specialists are not trained in how to administer it.
On average, only six per cent of patients are being given access to IMRT, which the report describes as ‘unacceptably low’.
To perform IMRT, doctors must complete a training course over several days and then be mentored when they return to hospital.
Hospitals do not need any additional equipment.
The report also highlights that 26 out of 265 radiotherapy machines in England are past their use-by date, and a further 59 will need replacing in the next three years.
A further 147 machines are needed to cope with expected demand by 2016.
The report estimates that the amount of radiotherapy provided to patients will need to rise by 67% in the next four years.
( An extract from an article by Jo Macfarlane, 25.11.2012 )
Emma Stones, a disabled 12-year-old, died in her bed at Tameside Hospital and was then left by hospital staff for so long she developed rigor mortis.
A coroner condemned the hospital after learning how Mike Stones found his daughter stiff and cold to the touch – despite being told by hospital staff she had died just minutes before. The hearing was told that as well as not being given a blood test, Emma, who had cerebral palsy, had not been monitored in the early hours by nurses, who also failed to take her blood pressure. Stockport coroner John Pollard said inadequate treatment Emma received played a part in her death from septicaemia. Emma, who lived with her parents and twin sister Christina at Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, was taken to hospital on February 6, 2011, suffering from flu symptoms. But hospital staff failed to diagnose a bacterial infection because they were too busy to carry out basic blood tests and neglected to check on her properly.
Lisa Sharpe was admitted to Basildon Hospital with nausea, vomiting and an inability to take food or water. Three weeks later she was dead.
The 21-year-old from Billericay, Essex, died ‘crying and screaming’ two weeks after a routine operation to insert a feeding tube into her bowel.
Her death certificate stated she died from a combination of pneumonia and the symptoms of her special needs conditions, Reye’s syndrome and cerebral palsy.
But Lisa’s family says the poor standard of care at the hospital in January 2004 caused her death. Her mother Mary, 54, said: ‘Lisa was still crying and screaming when she died. You wouldn’t leave an animal to suffer like that. My dog had a better death than my daughter.’
Melanoma In Young People ..
I spread the word about staying out of the sun, about children being sun aware, about applying sun cream. I do feel there should be legislation to ban sunbeds and much more emphasis on action.
Many schools do not have a shady playground.
It is hard to see people wilfully courting disaster with the lunacy of sunbeds or the deliberate baking of the skin on the beach.
I think that with the spread of melanoma people will think twice about these practises.
( Esther Allen )
MELANOMA, THE FACTS ..
• Around 12,800 people in the UK are diagnosed with malignant melanoma each year, and there are around 2,200 deaths from the disease.
• Malignant melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the UK.
• More people die from skin cancer in the UK than in Australia.
• Melanoma is now the most common cancer in young people aged 15-34 in the UK.
• In the past decade, cases of the disease have increased by over 50 per cent.
• Malignant melanoma has the biggest projected increase in incidence of any cancer by 2030.
• Over 80% of all skin cancers are caused by over-exposure to the sun and/or sunbeds.
• The majority of early melanomas, where there is no spread to lymph nodes or other parts of the body, can be cured by simple removal.
• Melanoma is much more difficult to treat in the later stages.
• Using tanning beds before the age of 30 increases your risk of a melanoma diagnosis by 75%.
( Information taken from You magazine )