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Off-island cancer treatment for Manx patients 'operating as normal'

image captionMany cancer patients need to travel off-island for treatment

Off-island radiotherapy for cancer patients is "operating as normal" again after it was disrupted due to coronavirus, the health minister said.

It is not available on the island and most patients travel to Liverpool's Clatterbridge Cancer Centre.

Government figures showed the number of visits to the facility dropped by almost half between April and August.

David Ashford said the decision to halt cancer care earlier in the year in the UK had a "knock-on effect".

There was a backlog due to the stoppage but the service was now "operating as normal" with Clatterbridge, he added.

The government data showed an average of 141 visits to the centre each month between April and August this year, compared with 276 the previous year.

Julie Edge MHK said the drop in the figures was concerning as "the best outcome with cancer is to find it and treat it quickly and early".

Manx cancer services are split between the island's main hospital and UK facilities.

The installation of an MRI and two new CT scanners at Noble's Hospital in recent months means fewer patients need to travel to the UK for diagnosis.

Most chemotherapy treatment is also provided on the Isle of Man but radiotherapy is not.

Some on-island services, such as cancer screening and chemotherapy, were shortened or stopped between March and June due to coronavirus.

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Related Topics

  • Cancer

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