Denied prostate cancer treatment
Law firm Irwin Mitchell, which successfully fought for the right of women to get the breast cancer drug Herceptin, has announced that it is acting for a Welsh man denied treatment for prostate cancer. Known as brachytherapy, the treatment was prescribed to Mr Robin James (56) of Gwent by his doctor but was refused funding by The Health Commission of Wales (HCW) who have announced that the treatment is not within its budget.
The HCW instructed consultants to stop offering the treatment, which is a form of radiation therapy that involves a radioactive seed being injected directly into the prostate, after it made its announcement in August this year which confirmed "brachytherapy treatment should not be offered as an NHS treatment option for welsh patients until further notice".
The treatment takes just one visit to hospital compared to weeks of radiotherapy and does not carry the same risks as surgery. Importantly for many men it does not render the patient impotent following treatment.
Ben Gent from Irwin Mitchell confirmed that it has accepted instructions to advise Mr Robin James (56) of Gwent who was diagnosed last Christmas as having early stage prostate cancer.
Denied prostate cancer treatment after doctor's approval
Mr James has been informed by his clinician that he is an ideal candidate for brachytherapy, and was prescribed the treatment as it was felt by his doctor that this was the best option.
However, like other sufferers of the disease who live in Wales, he will not be able to receive the treatment which is readily available for men in England who meet the same criteria as Mr James.
Ben Gent speaking today said "It is vital for Mr James and his family that he receives brachytherapy treatment without delay. Brachytherapy is more effective, has fewer side effects and it costs the same as the radiotherapy alternative. We can see no reason why it should be denied to Welsh patients, simply because of where they live, and we will take whatever action is necessary to support his fight for treatment."
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