Radiotherapy shortages may mean preventable cancer deaths

A NEW medical report has detailed how Australia's lack of radiotherapy equipment and trained staff could be contributing to deaths from potentially treatable cancers.

New research published on the weekend said millions of people were dying from potentially treatable cancers, such as breast and prostate, because of a chronic underinvestment in radiotherapy resources.

The research, published in The Lancet Oncology, said there was a lack of worldwide investment.

This led to severe limitations in accessing radiotherapy, even in high-income countries, including Australia.

The research also stated there was evidence of "periodic erosion" of radiotherapy capacity in Australia because of poor health policies.

The amount of radiotherapy equipment and trained staff in Australia was inadequate, the report stated.