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Trauma For Breast Cancer Patients

7 September 2001

Trauma For Breast Cancer Patients As Govt Ignores Problem

It is barbaric that breast cancer patients are being forced to have mastectomies instead of get the vital treatment they need to stop cancer spread, National's Health spokesperson Roger Sowry said today .

"Health Minister Annette King must urgently put more money into the health system so it can cope with growing waiting times and the large number of women affected by this.

"She should also listen to the Director of Surgical Affairs in New Zealand for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Dr John Simpson.

"Dr Simpson describes the situation as 'an appalling state of affairs in a country like New Zealand and it is simply unacceptable that women are being asked to wait 5 - 6 months for vital cancer therapy. We are begging the Government to put more resources into the system, particularly to ensure availability of radiation therapists and oncologists'.

"Having breast cancer is a stressful time for the women and families involved. Being told that you should lose a breast because you can't get treatment only adds to that trauma.

"Annette King and this Government promised they would work hard to reduce cancer waiting times. Instead they expect women suffering with breast cancer to lose their breasts rather than get treatment.

"This is yet another illustration that the Labour Government promised extra money for health but is not putting that money in," Mr Sowry said.


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