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Non-Surgical Cancer Treatment Services Report

2 August 2001

In Response To The Ministry Of Health's Non-Surgical Cancer Treatment Services Report

The New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation is delighted that more therapies will be available, as appropriate, for patients with breast cancer, says Dr Vernon Harvey, medical oncologist and member of the Foundation's medical advisory committee.

"This will greatly improve the ability of patients to access newer treatments, with the expected improvement in disease control," he says. "We applaud the government's move, but we are uncertain how many patients will benefit because many of these therapies have not been available through the public sector. Only time will tell what the real need is for these therapies through the public sector, and it will be important for funding levels to keep pace with this need."

The Foundation is also pleased to see that the government is developing a process to assess new therapies as they become available and to recommend those appropriate to be considered for funding, and that more money is being made available for radiotherapy, in the hope that waiting lists for breast cancer patients requiring radiotherapy will be reduced.

ends

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