Treatment Boost For Welsh Cancer Patients

Brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer patients will be available in Wales before the end of summer, Welsh Assembly Health Minister Brian Gibbons said yesterday.

Mr Gibbons confirmed that low dose brachytherapy, which is less invasive than surgery and can be performed quicker than traditional radiotherapy, would be available to patients throughout Wales at Velindre Hospital in Cardiff.

Health Commission Wales had said in June last year that it would work with Velindre NHS Trust to develop the service. But two months later the commission decided that in light of increased costs and other competing pressures, brachytherapy would only be available in exceptional circumstances. Instead, patients continued to be offered surgery and wide-beam radiotherapy.

But Mr Gibbons said that following discussions, ‘It has been agreed that Health Commission Wales will commission Welsh low-dose brachytherapy services for localised prostate cancer from Velindre NHS Trust. I have asked that the service is established as quickly as possible.’