RADIOTHERAPY services must receive more investment from the government to stop patients travelling hours for treatment, south Cumbria MP s have said.

Tim Farron has called on ministers to invest more money into radiotherapy, with patients in south Cumbria and Furness currently forced to undertake a more than 100-mile round trip to Preston.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP, has launched a manifesto as part of his cross-party alliance on radiotherapy services.

John Woodcock, the MP for Barrow and Furness, has also lent his support.

The nearest radiotherapy centre for cancer patients in south Cumbria is the Royal Preston Hospital.

Research by Mr Farron showed that by 2025, the percentage of cancer patients needing radiotherapy as part of their treatment will have risen from the current 50 per cent to 60 per cent.

Hr has also pointed out that only only five per cent of the NHS cancer budget is spent on radiotherapy and that increasing funding would raise survival rates.

He said: “One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime. Around half of those will need radiotherapy treatment. But only five per cent of the UK cancer budget goes on radiotherapy.

“Radiotherapy is the Cinderella service when it comes to the way we extend lives, to improve the quality of lives and save lives.

“This manifesto seeks to put pressure on the government to start properly investing in radiotherapy so that all patients have access to the best radiotherapy as close to home as possible so that they can have an effective service which will increase the cure rate for cancer.”

Backing the calls, Barrow and Furness MP, John Woodcock, said: “It is a deeply troubling fact that one in two of us will get some form of cancer in our lifetimes and the distances Furness people must currently travel for radiotherapy treatment only increases the burden on what can be a stressful situation.

“Tim’s cross-party manifesto aims to put pressure on the government to increase investment in radiotherapy treatment to help save lives and it has my support.”

The recommended time limit for travelling for radiotherapy is 45 minutes. a drive to Preston takes over an hour.