Cancer recovery rate drops to 10% – Prof. Abeysena

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Professor Krishantha Abeysena, Executive Committee Member of the Jathika Jana Balawegaya (JJB) said the rate of recovery of cancer patients has dropped to 10 per cent due to the lack of radiotherapy for patients.

He said for some cancer patients, radiotherapy was the only treatment for their recovery and due to the lack of equipment, most patients were on the waiting list for over three months.

He also pointed out that although the rate of recovery of these patients in foreign countries was 45 per cent, in Sri Lanka it is a mere 10 per cent.

“There is a lack of radiotherapy in our country. Because of this, patients have to wait three months for radiotherapy treatment. Some serious cancer patients cannot even get treatment for two days. The shortage of machines should also be addressed fast”, he said.

He also lamented that there was another type of machine that could be used to treat cancer patients but there were only two of these types of machines in the country.

He said the shortage is not only in ‘Apeksha Hospital’ but also in other Districts as well. “Due to the lack of regular radiotherapy, the number of cancer patients cured in Sri Lanka has decreased to 10 per cent. If radiotherapy is not available, other drugs could be used as an alternative. However, these drugs are expensive. Even with the use of these expensive drugs, it has not been found whether the results were as effective as radiotherapy treatment. Some cancer patients have to be treated continuously for a year or more. The shortage of medicines and equipment is very serious”, he added.

BY Aloka Kasturiarachchi