Our policy on radiotherapy

Radiotherapy plays a major role in curing cancer, but the service needs more support. This is why we are championing improvements to radiotherapy in the UK.

Recent advances in radiotherapy have helped to minimise side-effects and target radiation precisely at tumours, achieved using cutting-edge imaging and computing technology. Research is helping us to understand how to make radiotherapy even more effective.

Cancer Research UK has consistently called for greater access to the latest innovations in radiotherapy, with notable success.

In 2012-13 we helped the Government distribute £23 million to improve the service across England through the Radiotherapy Innovation Fund (RIF). The Government has since announced further investments in the service. Further to this we published the joint Vision for Radiotherapy 2014-24 with NHS England, setting out what we believe the service should be providing for patients within the next 10 years.

But our work is not over.

Public awareness of the benefits of radiotherapy is still not as high as we want it to be, and we know that there are still challenges to overcome if the UK is to have a truly world-class radiotherapy service. Cancer Research UK is actively working with Government and health departments, members of the radiotherapy service and patients to make this a reality.

We support the Radiotherapy Awareness Programme (RAP), a partnership of charities, professional bodies, patients and NHS representatives which aims to raise patient and public awareness of the benefits of radiotherapy (further details below).

Radiotherapy Awareness Programme

Cancer Research UK currently provides secretariat support to the Radiotherapy Awareness  Programme (RAP), a collaborative of charities, professional bodies, patients and representatives from the NHS with an interest in increasing public and patient awareness of the benefits of radiotherapy. RAP was established in 2010 (as the National Radiotherapy Awareness Initiative) following recommendations from the 2009 Achieving a world class radiotherapy service in the UK report. The group worked together on the Year of Radiotherapy in 2011.

RAP is chaired by Dr Diana Tait (link is external), Consultant Clinical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden.

For further information please contact rose.gray@cancer.org.uk

Members of RAP include individual patient and service representatives, as well as the following organisations:


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