Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Friday, March 12, 1999 Published at 00:32 GMT


Health

Call for UK cancer centre

The centre would form a focal point for cancer research

The UK needs a national cancer centre if the highest standards in care are to be achieved, a leading specialist has said.

Professor Karol Sikora, Head of the World Health Organisation's cancer programme, called on the government to develop such a centre.

In a letter to the British Medical Journal on Friday, he said Britain was one of a handful of countries not to have a single focus for cancer research and teaching.

Such a centre could become reality if the private and public sectors pulled together, said Professor Sikora.

Move to centralisation

There is a general trend towards developing large specialist centres for the treatment of cancer in the UK.

On Thursday, Scottish Health Minister Sam Galbraith opened a £280,000 unit at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

The centre will combine oncology and clinical haematology services on one site, and will serve patients in Ayrshire and Arran.

It will benefit from the expertise of doctors from a wide range of specialties and is designed to improve cancer services by focussing a great deal of specialist talent in one centre.


[ image: Sam Galbraith: Opened new centre]
Sam Galbraith: Opened new centre
Mr Galbraith, a neurosurgeon by profession, endorsed the concept of centralised services.

He said: "This is a prime example of what can be achieved when clinical and nursing specialists from a wide range of disciplines pool their individual skills.

"By adopting a multidisciplinary approach to cancer services and the treatment and care of cancer patients, this unit will deliver modern care in a local setting."

Professor Sikora said a national centre could set the standards for the increasing number of units like the one at Crosshouse.

It would act as the "gold standard" of cancer care, he said.

"The centre would be a natural site to co-ordinate the new structure of cancer centres and units that is gradually building up throughout the United Kingdom.

"At a time when cancer treatment is likely to change owing to the impact of new molecular treatment strategies, the need for a leading institution has never been greater," he added.

London base

England's capital would be the ideal location for any such enterprise as it already has a wealth of talent and resources in the field of cancer treatment, Professor Sikora said.


[ image: Professor Sikora proposes London as the site of any centre]
Professor Sikora proposes London as the site of any centre
He cited London's hospitals and organisations such as the Institute of Cancer Research as examples of this.

"What is needed to bring this concept to fruition is political will and capital investment by the public and private sectors, jointly, to create a single site.

"This would defuse the usual interpersonal bickering that characterises hospital and university mergers."



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


Health Contents

Background Briefings
Medical notes

Relevant Stories

22 Dec 98†|†Health
Inequalities in cancer support services

03 Dec 98†|†Health
A brave new dawn for medicine

18 Oct 98†|†International
Global cancer explosion feared

20 Oct 98†|†Health
Many cancer cases 'may be being missed'





Internet Links


British Medical Journal

Cancer Research Campaign

Institute of Cancer Research

World Health Organisation


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Disability in depth

Spotlight: Bristol inquiry

Antibiotics: A fading wonder

Mental health: An overview

Alternative medicine: A growth industry

The meningitis files

Long-term care: A special report

Aids up close

From cradle to grave

NHS reforms: A guide

NHS Performance 1999

From Special Report
NHS in crisis: Special report

British Medical Association conference '99

Royal College of Nursing conference '99