Cyberknife delay 'costing lives' in the South West

Image caption The Cyberknife enables doctors to target tumours with greater accuracy

A delay introducing a new radiotherapy treatment has been described as "a slap in the face" for cancer patients in the South West.

Plymouth Hospital's NHS Trust has put off the purchase of a cyberknife which targets what can be inoperable tumours.

Jennifer Woodford, from Falmouth, spent £20,000 travelling to Greece for cyberknife treatment and is convinced it has saved her life.

The Trust said it now hoped to purchase the device for 2012/13.

'Living proof'

Ms Woodford told BBC Radio Cornwall the decision to delay purchasing the Cyberknife machine and rumours that money was going to be spent on redesigning a hospital entrance was "a slap in the face".

"I'm living proof that it works. I was given two to three years in 2008 and I'm here and well.

"The cancer's been shrunk to almost nothing, I just can't sing its praises enough."

The Cyberknife treatment which requires no anaesthesia, delivers focussed radiation therapy where it is needed, minimising the dosage to surrounding tissue.

Mrs Woodford admitted the machinery was costly, but added: "The initial outlay is expensive, but it's actually going to save money and lives."

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