A treatment that helps brain surgeons detect tumours is set to be rolled out across the UK.
Previously, the ‘pink drink’ detection, which enables medical staff to see brain tumours by making them glow under a blue light, has only been available at some hospitals. However, it will now be an option at all NHS-run neurological centres in the country.
The liquid, which is known as 5-ALA, works by using fluorescent dye to allow cancer cells to glow under ultraviolet light, enabling doctors to detect the offensive cells more easily and not eliminate healthy brain cells unnecessarily.
Health secretary Matt Hancock tweeted that the change was brought about by Baroness Tessa Jowell’s tireless campaign to improve funding and treatment for brain cancers.
The Labour MP was herself diagnosed with glioblastoma in May 2017, before passing away the following July.
Mr Hancock stated: “A year on from the tragic death of Tessa Jowell who fought so passionately for better brain cancer treatment, delighted we’re rolling out the pioneering 5-ALA cancer treatment – made possible because we’re putting £33.9bn extra into our NHS [sic].”
He went on to say NHS patients should feel as though “they have access to the best and fastest care”.
According to research revealed by Sky News, a tumour can be successfully removed in 70 per cent of cases when 5-ALA is utilised; this is a significant improvement from the 30 per cent success rate when it is not used.
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