Heartbreak as op cancelled

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A WOMAN who was refused funding for life-saving cancer treatment on the NHS has been told her tumour is now too big to treat privately.

Earlier this month, the Derbyshire Times reported that Sarah Hargreaves (38) of North Wingfield received a £10,000 donation from Chesterfield-based charity, Cancer Relief UK, to pay for specialist treatment, after NHS Derbyshire County refused funding to treat the two tumours in her brain.

But when Sarah travelled to Leeds to see a consultant about having the non-invasive gamma knife surgery, she was told that one of her tumours had grown too large to treat, leaving open-brain surgery the only alternative.

“I definitely blame the PCT,” said Sarah, who will travel back to Leeds this week for a further consultation.

“They say anybody with two tumours they are turning down for funding.

“They say there is not enough evidence to suggest there is a longer life expectancy for people who have the treatment.

“Yet I have spoken to specialists in that area who do operations on people with two tumours. If they knew from day one they wouldn’t fund it, why did they wait four weeks to tell me?”

Although she is aware there are more risks involved with the invasive open-brain surgery, she will not know the full extent until her consultation.

Sarah was diagnosed with two brain tumours in January this year, after two years battling cancers in her breasts and liver. She was refused funding for gamma knife treatment to be carried out at Sheffield’s Hallamshire Hospital, because the hospital is outside the boundaries of NHS Derbyshire County.

A spokesperson for NHS Derbyshire County, said:“In making the decision, we follow the policy set in place for the whole East Midlands area and there are certain timescales.

“They are really difficult decisions we have to make. It’s not a process we can rush through.”

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ellie.hunter

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk