The director of the Czech medical centre that treated brain cancer survivor Ashya King has said that she believes his recovery is proof that proton beam therapy is an effective choice of treatment for children with his condition.
Ashya King’s parents took their son back to the centre in Prague 12 months after they caused a Europe-wide manhunt when they removed him without permission from a hospital in the UK.
Iva Tatounova, director of the Proton Therapy Centre in Prague, said, “He’s doing fantastically. I’m over the moon actually.” Ms Tatounova went on to say that proton beam therapy – which is not currently available in the UK – “should be the first choice of treatment” for young children with brain cancer.
Proton therapy, also known as proton beam therapy, is a type of radiation treatment that uses protons instead of x-rays to treat cancer. Proton therapy limits the collateral damage that radiation can inflict on other vital organs. It can also lead to less severe long term side effects that include heart and breathing problems.
Like so many other children in the UK, proton therapy was not available to Ashya on the NHS. Due to a lack of specialist knowledge and treatment centres, parents of children with cancer face the same difficult decision that Mr and Mrs King were forced to face - take the advice of doctors in the UK that may possibly lead to the shortening of your child’s life, or try to find a way of obtaining proton therapy treatment.
Although Slater and Gordon are not advocating the seeking of cancer treatment abroad, it seems clear that in Ashya King’s case, his treatment appears to be going well. What is vital to acknowledge is that sadly, all too often, children’s cancer cases are missed completely or diagnosed too late. Even when they are diagnosed early, there can still be significant difficulties in accessing the most up to date and effective treatment.
Karen Cathcart is a Clinical and Medical Negligence Solicitor with Slater and Gordon Lawyers in London.
Karen has just successfully concluded a claim on behalf of the parents of a young boy who tragically died after a delay in diagnosing his brain cancer.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers help people who have suffered from delayed or wrong diagnosis of cancer due to Medical Negligence. For a free consultation call our Medical Negligence Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9049 or start your claim online.