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Real Hope for Cancer Patients

The Northern Echo

September 22, 2000

ANY survey which asked people to nominate their greatest wishes for the new millennium would surely have featured a cure for cancer among the most common answers.

      It is a disease which touches everyone in some way, so it is important that news of possible breakthroughs is treated with discretion.

      While it is important to keep the public informed about apparent progress in the search for treatments, it is also wrong to give false hope.

      That was a balance which had to be weighed in deciding how much prominence to give today's story about the highly encouraging trials taking place here in the North-East.

      The results from those trials, however, appear to give patients not false hope but real hope. Confidence is growing among cancer experts that the research could have a significant impact on cancer treatment.

      It doesn't really matter where cancer treatments are developed as long as the fight is won, but we can still take pride in the fact that the progress is being made here in our region.

      We should also take it as a reminder of the importance of investing in cancer research, both at government level, and through charitable donations.

      There is undoubtedly a long way to go before cancer is conquered - but progress is being made and we can all play our part in making sure the momentum continues.

      Lancet lingers THE end of Operation Lancet is in sight - at long last. The loose ends are being tied up and November has been given as the month to bring the whole sorry saga to an end.

      But that is just Operation Lancet. It will, of course, take a lot longer for the strands which have spread out of Lancet to be tightly tied.

      Disciplinary hearings remain and question marks still hang over the futures of the key players - particularly Detective Superintendent Ray Mallon and Chief Constable Barry Shaw.

      Operation Lancet may be formally wound up by Christmas, with millions of pounds of public money having been spent.

      But the bitterness will go on for some time longer - and so will the questions about whether it was money well spent

(C) 2000 The Northern Echo via Bell&Howell Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.


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