Charity lobbies Parliament

OcuMel calls for MRI scans to be offered in Scotland as part of the treatment for ocular melanoma

MRI scan

A national charity that supports people affected by a rare form of eye cancer is lobbying Scottish Parliament in a call for people with ocular melanoma to receive the same treatment that is offered in England.

OcuMel believes that patients in Scotland should be entitled to MRI scans to help with the early detection of the disease.

When speaking to the Parliament's public petitions clerk, OcuMel highlighted how research groups, which included consultants in ocular oncology, liver surgery, abdominal radiology and pathology, all concluded that MRI scans are the most effective way of detecting the spread of the disease.

While patients with ocular melanoma are treated in London, Liverpool, Sheffield and Glasgow, only those in Glasgow are refused MRI scans across the board, the charity highlighted.

National director of OcuMel UK, Jo Gumbs, said: “We are concerned that lives could be at risk by patients not receiving the most appropriate type of scan to detect early spread of their cancer elsewhere in their body.”

Ms Gumbs explained that the charity has been informed that patients in Scotland are being denied MRI scans due to “a lack of research into the effectiveness between MRI and ultrasound in the detection of extremely rare cancer.”

“It is not fair to penalise a patient of a rare cancer for this reason and it makes no economic sense,” she added.

Image credit: Florida International University