Mpilo radiotherapy machines lying idle



BULAWAYO’s Mpilo Central Hospital radiotherapy cancer treatment machines are reportedly lying idle because there are no physicists to operate them.

This has seen cancer patients in Matabeleland region travelling to Harare, 450km away for radiotherapy services.

Mpilo clinical director Xolani Ndlovu and the health institution’s spokesperson Ozias Ndlovu were not reachable for comment yesterday.

But hospital acting chief executive officer Solwayo Ngwenya told online news sites that in the absence of radiotherapy, patients were being treated through chemotherapy, which might not be ideal for every patient.

“Our physicists resigned and left for greener pastures in the United Kingdom. Without a physicist, we are not allowed to run the machines by the regulatory authorities,” he said.

About half of all cancer patients receive some type of radiation therapy during the course of their treatment.

Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. There are over 200 types of cancer.

Anything that may cause a normal body cell to develop abnormally has the potential to cause cancer.

General categories of cancer-related or causative agents are as follows: chemical or toxic compound exposures, ionising radiation, some pathogens, and human

Cancer symptoms and signs depend on the specific type and grade of cancer, although general signs and symptoms are not very specific the following can be found in patients with different cancers: fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, fever, lumps, or tissue masses.

Treatment protocols vary according to the type and stage of cancer.

Most treatment protocols are designed to suit the individual patient.

However, most treatments include at least one of the following and may include all: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.