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Radiotherapy for Treatment of Dupuytren's Disease Now Available at Cancer Partners UK Centres

A new service is now available at Cancer Partners UK centres which uses radiotherapy to treat patients with early-stage Dupuytren's disease.

The service has been established in conjunction with Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Dr Richard Shaffer who has an ongoing interest in using radiotherapy for benign disease and acts as Medical Advisor to the British Dupuytren's Society.

The procedure is approved for use in England by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) and there is good evidence that radiotherapy is effective in halting the progression of Dupuytren's disease and in preventing the formation of contractures of the fingers thus avoiding the need for surgery on the hand.

Dupuytren's disease typically starts as a small non-cancerous lump just under the skin of the palm of the hand. It generally affects the ring or little finger, but may appear throughout the palm and sometimes on the fingers. The condition may get worse over time. The nodules may grow, and cords develop along the tendons. The cords then thicken, and they contract and bend the affected fingers towards the palm. This can stop the fingers from being able to unbend which can be particularly debilitating to people who use their hands to earn their living, for instance people who use a computer, or musicians.

The aim of giving radiotherapy for Dupuytren's disease in its early stage is to slow or stop it worsening. The radiation, which has only minor side-effects, is aimed towards the nodules and cords associated with the disease, and softens them, thus preventing the contractures of the hand.

The radiation is typically given over five consecutive weekdays, and is repeated after a break of about eight weeks.

For a consultation with Dr Shaffer or further information on the condition, please call

The Elstree Cancer Centre on 020 8236 9040

Or visit www.dupuytrens-radiotherapy.co.uk

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