Islington cancer sufferer refused funding for life-saving treatment

16:50 22 September 2012

Hakki Altinock has been battling cancer for three years

Hakki Altinock has been battling cancer for three years

Archant

A cancer sufferer has been denied funding for life-saving treatment for the second time in his three-year battle against the disease.

NHS North Central London has refused Hakki Altinok, of Elia Street, Islington, a pioneering type of radiation therapy recommended by his consultant at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Surrey to treat a small tumour in the middle of his brain.

The lump was discovered when the 65-year-old underwent successful brain surgery in March to remove another larger tumour from behind his ear.

Doctors have since decided that the best chance of curing the remaining shadow lies in the CyberKnife treatment, which uses precise pencil beams of radiation to treat cancers once thought to be inoperable.

Mr Altinok was also refused funding for a cancer drug on his diagnosis of renal kidney cancer back in 2009 – but NHS Islington eventually granted his appeal against the decision after the Gazette and MP for Islington South and Finsbury, Emily Thornberry, took up the case.

Although the cancer was not cured, the subsequent treatment has allowed Mr Altinok to have a good quality of life and the grandfather of five has been left devastated by the latest refusal for funding.

He said: “It feels like the PCT has handed me a death sentence, only this time it will be a painful death. Other boroughs have granted applications for this treatment which will actually cure the tumour and it won’t require ongoing treatment.

“Without the most effective treatment, I won’t just die, I will slowly lose the functions of my brain and die slowly and painfully, killing my whole family with me.”

Other treatment options involve further surgery or painful, less accurate radiotherapy sessions – and Mr Altinok said his consultant is adamant this will put his health and long-term recovery at risk and force him to come off medication to keep the cancer affecting his lungs under control.

Ms Thornberry has written to NHS North Central London urging them to grant Mr Altinok’s funding as soon as possible, to avoid any further delay and deterioration in his condition. She said: “Having successfully fought the cancer so bravely for so many years, I can completely understand why Mr Altinok thinks it’s critical to take his consultant’s advice and is so desperate to access this relatively painless and non-invasive treatment.”

A spokesman for NHS North Central London said: “We take the needs of individual patients very seriously indeed, but we are required to balance these against the needs of the whole population we serve when we are spending NHS resources.”

She said the trust looked very closely at each request for treatment not routinely funded by the NHS.

She claimed there was no robust evidence showing the CyberKnife treatment is more clinically effective than other more readily available treatments.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

How does 3D gaming really affect video game aficionados?

Read more

Shailene Woodley said stripping off for White Bird In A Blizzard was essential for the movie.

Read more

It’s blown off course and back up the hill.

Read more

Promotions

AGA Living Subscription

Every issue of AGA Living magazine is packed full of celebrity AGA owner interviews, interior and design features, ideas to inspire your culinary imagination, mouth-watering recipes and inspirational shopping ideas.

Dojo gives you hand picked recommendations for events, places and activities in London

Tired of always hearing about some amazing event in London after its gone, missing out on the best activities? That’s where Dojo comes in.

How does 3D gaming really affect video game aficionados?

It’s blown off course and back up the hill.

There’s not many worse places that you can mistake a bar for than a prison.

And it dishes out Kellogg’s Cornflakes!

TOP Stories

11:24
The body was found in a car in this Tesco car park in Gallows Reach, Romford [Photograph from Google StreetView]

A man in his 50s was found dead in a vehicle in the car park of Gallows Corner Tesco, in Romford, in the early hours of this morning.

The woman's arrest is linked to the ongoing war in Syria (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)

A 25-year-old woman was arrested this morning on suspicion of preparation of terrorist acts contrary to section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006.

Yesterday, 15:18
Cheryl Evans, with a picture of her murdered son, Warren

The distraught mother of teenager who was stabbed to death almost a decade ago is appealing for witnesses to help find his killer.

London Bloggers

Wednesday, September 17, 2014
The cast, including Josie Lawrence and Mike Myers

Simon Collins catches up with the improv impresarios, who despite being the world’s longest-running comedy show with the same cast, have lost none of the razor-sharp wit:

Monday, September 1, 2014
Do you really need an explanation for that?! (Pic by Serena Marinelli)

If you’ve ever seen an Italian movie, you would probably know how important body language is in the culture.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Don't waste any of your harvest

If you are now inundated with ripe tomatoes, juicy green beans, berries and herbs, don’t leave them to go stringy or mouldy because the freezer can go a long way to making your crops last well into winter.