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Cancer staff named 'Northern team of the year'

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Staff involved in setting up a more precise type of radiotherapy treatment for cancer patients have been named as ‘Northern team of the year’ by the Society of Radiographers.

The team at The James Cook University Hospital has worked hard to set up its IGRT - image-guided radiation therapy - service for patients in the radiotherapy and oncology department.

The service was launched by four treatment radiographers who have gone on to fully train five members of staff.

Superintendent radiographer Karen Pilling said: “The service offers a more accurate way of treating cancer patients - we image them before we treat. The advantage is we can deliver a more precise dose of radiation that conforms to the shape of the tumour and spares much of the surrounding healthy tissues. In turn, that can also reduce adverse side effects.

The treatment is not suitable for everybody - it really depends on the tumour - but more than a quarter of all our patients now benefit from this and since we started the service the team has worked hard to develop it and is constantly looking at ways we can improve.

We were delighted but very surprised to receive this recognition from the Society of Radiographers and it is great to be recognised at a national level.”

Three members of the team - Karen, superintendent radiographer Claire Huntley and senior radiographer Helen Bayles - visited the House of Commons to receive their award.

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