Brachytherapy Prostate Cancer Treatment in Wales Unavailable as Man Takes Campaign to Assembly

Brachytherapy prostate cancer treatment in Wales

20.09.2006

A man campaigning for the same prostate cancer treatment to be made available to patients in Wales as in England will take his fight to the National Assembly today.

David Powell, from Barry, South Wales, will be joined by Jayne Sullivan who campaigned for the breast cancer drug Herceptin to be made available on the NHS.

Mr Powell, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in January, told BBC Radio Wales' Good Morning Wales programme he had to travel to Leeds to receive brachytherapy - the prostate cancer treatment recommended by his oncologist - as it is not available in his home country.

Brachytherapy prostate cancer treatment  not within budget in Wales

The Health Commission Wales wrote and told him they had to stop offering the treatment earlier this year because it was not within its budget.

Mr Powell and Ms Sullivan will today display a giant version of the letter from the commission in front of the Assembly's debating chamber.

Speaking on Good Morning Wales, 54-year-old Mr Powell said: "I've paid into this system since I was 16 years old. I deserve to have the treatment recommended to me by my clinician."

He added: "It's disgusting that because we are Welsh we can't have this treatment. We can't allow this to happen - that's why we're taking this to the Assembly."

Brachytherapy involves implanting a radioactive seed in the prostate, which avoids destroying healthy tissue.

Health Commission Wales chief executive Simon Dean told the programme resources would always be finite.

He said: "We have to make choices and have to think about when we can make treatments available - it might not be today, it might be tomorrow, it might be next year.

"And we have to make those choices across the wide range of services that we are responsible for."