Buckingham MP to chair group that champions minimally invasive treatments for cancer
Minimally invasive therapies have the potential to improve the lives of cancer patients - but access to them is a postcode lottery
Buckingham's MP Greg Smith has been chosen to chair the All Party Political Group for Minimally Invasive Cancer Therapies.
The group, which has been formed to help drive awareness of minimally invasive cancer therapies (MICT) and ensure that eligible patients from across the UK can have timely access to the treatments, held its inaugural meeting last week.
Minimally invasive cancer treatments work without cuts and without radiation. A minimally invasive medical procedure is one that is carried out by entering the body through the skin or through a body cavity or anatomical opening, but with the smallest damage possible to these structures. As the techniques are less invasive, they often lead to reductions in hospital stay and shorter recovery times.
There are many potential benefits to minimally invasive therapies for cancer patients but a lack of awareness of their availability - from both patients and clinicians - means cancer patients are often missing out on the most appropriate treatment for them.
For many cancer patients, MICT will be the most appropriate form of treatment. For example, they can be used in conjunction with other treatments, have fewer side effects compared to more routinely used treatments, require fewer visits to hospital and often result in a speedier recovery time.
But access to MICT is a postcode lottery, with the majority of cancer patients unaware of the option of this potentially superior treatment.
The all-party group aims to increase awareness among patients and clinicians and identify how the treatments could be incorporated into Cancer Patient Pathways.
Greg Smith said: “I am very happy to have been elected chair of the All Party Political Group for Minimally Invasive Cancer Therapies.
"Minimally Invasive Therapies have the potential to improve the lives of cancer patients throughout the country and I am looking forward to learning more about the role they can play in supporting people diagnosed with the disease.
"This is an important group which brings together key interest groups from across the cancer therapy field and I am looking forward to working with ministers to deliver real change in the quality of treatments available for cancer patients.”
The meeting, which took place virtually, also included a short overview of minimally invasive treatments from both the perspective of a clinician and a patient.
Speakers included Paul Sayer, of the Prost8 charity, which he founded after receiving minimally invasive treatment for prostate cancer, inspiring him to dedicate his life to championing minimally invasive treatment.