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Cancer patients 'need to know more about radiotherapy'

28th January 2011

A lack of awareness about the efficacy of radiotherapy is preventing cancer patients from benefiting from this form of treatment, a new campaign claims.

Research commissioned by the National Radiotherapy Awareness Initiative, a collaboration between Cancer Research UK, the Royal College of Radiologists and the Society of Radiographers, found only nine per cent of people think the therapy is a 'modern cancer treatment'.

The survey also discovered that 40 per cent of respondents describe radiotherapy as 'frightening', while just 15 per cent believe it can be precisely targeted at the location of cancer.

Professor Tim Maughan, a consultant clinical oncologist at the Velindre Hospital in Cardiff, said radiotherapy is an 'incredible tool' in the fight against cancer and claimed more people need to be made aware of its benefits.

'We hear a lot about chemotherapy and less about radiotherapy, which actually has a better cure rate. But most people don't realise that,' he added.

A previous poll by Cancer Research UK found that only one in ten people are aware that radiotherapy cures 40 per cent of patients who survive cancer.
 

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