Search

Islington cancer sufferer refused funding for life-saving treatment

06:30 20 September 2012

Hakki Altinock

Hakki Altinock

Archant

A cancer sufferer has been denied funding for life-saving treatment for the second time in his three-year battle against the disease.

A cancer sufferer has been denied funding for life-saving treatment for the second time in his three-year battle against the disease.

NHS North Central London has refused Hakki Altinok, of Elia Street, Islington, a pioneering type of radiation therapy recommended by his consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey to treat a small tumour in the middle of his brain.

The lump was discovered when the 65-year-old underwent successful brain surgery in March to remove another larger tumour from behind his ear.

Doctors have since decided that the best chance of curing the remaining shadow lies in the CyberKnife treatment, which uses precise pencil beams of radiation to treat cancers once thought to be inoperable.

Painful

Mr Altinok was also refused funding for a cancer drug on his diagnosis of renal kidney cancer back in 2009 – but NHS Islington eventually granted his appeal against the decision after the Gazette and MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Emily Thornberry, took up the case.

Although the cancer was not cured, the subsequent treatment has allowed Mr Altinok to have a good quality of life and the grandfather of five has been left devastated by the latest refusal for funding.

He said: “It feels like the PCT has handed me a death sentence, only this time it will be a painful death. Other boroughs have granted applications for this treatment which will actually cure the tumour and it won’t require ongoing treatment.

“Without the most effective treatment, I won’t just die, I will slowly lose the functions of my brain and die slowly and painfully, killing my whole family with me.”

Other treatment options involve further surgery or painful, less accurate radiotherapy sessions – and Mr Altinok said his consultant is adamant this will put his health and long-term recovery at risk and force him to come off medication to keep the cancer affecting his lungs under control.

Ms Thornberry has written to NHS North Central London urging them to grant Mr Altinok’s funding as soon as possible, to avoid any further delay and deterioration in his condition. She said: “Having successfully fought the cancer so bravely for so many years, I can completely understand why Mr Altinok thinks it’s critical to take his consultant’s advice and is so desperate to access this relatively painless and non-invasive treatment.”

A spokesman for NHS North Central London said: “We take the needs of individual patients very seriously indeed, but we are required to balance these against the needs of the whole population we serve when we are spending NHS resources.”

She said the trust looked very closely at each request for treatment not routinely funded by the NHS.

She claimed there was no robust evidence showing the CyberKnife treatment is more clinically effective than other more readily available treatments.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:05
Firefighters went on strike at 6pm today.

Firefighters in Islington have gone on strike as part of a long-running dispute with the government over pension reforms.

Yesterday, 17:41
Robert Pattinson. Credit: Press Association.

A casting company is on the hunt for a youngster to star alongside Hollywood superstar Robert Pattinson in a new film.

Yesterday, 17:10
It sold for £275,000 (Picture: Zoopla)

A tiny Barnsbury home dubbed “Britain’s smallest house” has sold for more than £275,000 after attracting global media coverage.

Yesterday, 16:42
Many Freedom Passes need renewing before the end of the year

More than 20,000 older people can renew their free travel card during the next two months.

Most read news

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition