The SNP Government has announced a £1.5 million investment in specialised radiotherapy treatment and is launching a National Radiotherapy Plan for Scotland.
This funding will increase the availability of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR), a precise form of high dose radiotherapy generally used on small, well-defined tumours, which requires fewer sessions. The treatment limits the impact on surrounding organs to minimise adverse side effects.
Other actions include ensuring radiologist input within regional multidisciplinary cancer teams.
Kenneth Gibson MSP welcomed the funding and said:
“The SNP Government’s National Radiotherapy Plan sets out 13 actions with a view to not only curing more cancers but also reducing side effects by increasing access to the most modern treatments.
”This means more people across North Ayrshire and Scotland will benefit from radiotherapy when treated for cancer, with approximately half of all cancer patients expected to receive radiotherapy treatment.
“The SNP Government is committed to providing a world class radiotherapy service for cancer patients, regardless of where they live.”
After surgery, radiotherapy is the next most effective form of cancer treatment and is given to 40% of all patients who are cured.
The Plan is underpinned by ongoing investment as set out in the National Cancer Plan published last December, which includes £45 million for a procurement programme to ensure the most up-to-date radiotherapy equipment is available across Scotland’s cancer centres.
An investment of £1.2 million will be made to make SABR more readily available across all five cancer centres in Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. SABR will treat Oligometastatic Disease – when the cancer has only a few, usually small growths that have spread beyond its origin point.
The Plan sets out a timeframe for each action to drive improvement and development of services, and ensure that progress is reviewed and maintained beyond the life of the plan which runs until March 2025.