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Derek Twigg, MP for Halton

Working Hard for Widnes, Runcorn & Hale

Derek speaks up for radiotherapy

31 Jan 2011

Derek has voiced his support for action on radiotherapy at an awareness-raising Cancer Research UK event at Westminster.

He heard how radiotherapy has a bigger impact on curing cancers each year than all the new drugs put together.

The event, held on Tuesday 25th January, coincided with the launch of the National Radiotherapy Awareness Initiative to improve the public's understanding of the importance of radiotherapy.

The Halton MP heard experts describe how a lack of awareness about radiotherapy's importance is having a serious impact on providing world class treatment in the UK.

Derek also heard that the delivery of radiotherapy services varies around the country, partly due to the number of machines available and the amount of highly-skilled, sufficiently trained staff needed to deliver this complex service.

Some people are still waiting for too long before receiving their treatment and some cutting-edge radiotherapy treatments, which are available across America and other parts of Europe, are not available to all people in certain parts of the country.

Derek said:

"Only 14% of the UK population are aware that half of all cancer patients benefit from radiotherapy. I want all people with cancer in Halton to access world class radiotherapy when they need it.

I am also concerned that the UK is lagging behind other countries in making newer, more targeted radiotherapy technologies available to everyone.  I urge the Government to work with the NHS and organisations like Cancer Research UK  to tackle the inequalities in radiotherapy treatment in this country and make the service amongst the best in Europe."

Hilary Tovey, Policy Manager at Cancer Research UK, said:

"MPs have a key role to play in raising awareness of radiotherapy and in urging the Government to take action.  We are very grateful to Mr. Twigg for helping us to spread this life-saving message."

For further information on radiotherapy, visit

For more information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7219 6699 or visit

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