HC Deb 09 December 1963 vol 686 cc12-3
26. Mr. Harper

asked the Minister of Health if he will make funds available to develop the tomograph, a machine which can be used for cancer detection on the soft tissues of the human body.

Mr. Braine

Ultrasonic methods of diagnosis, including tomography, are being developed at a number of centres within the National Health Service.

Mr. Harper

Is the Minister aware that a British scientist, Dr. John Gordon, has put ten years of research into the development of this machine and has also spent £9,000 of his own money in doing so? Is he further aware that America has expressed some interest in this machine; and that it has no detrimental effect on the tissues of the human body? In view of what I have said, will the hon. Gentleman look at the machine and send experts to see what possibilities are latent in it, so that we can have the best possible treatment for people suffering from cancer and those In the early stages who do not know that they are suffering from it? This machine will diagnose cancer of the liver and breast in the very early stages.

Mr. Braine

It is true that ultrasonic methods of tomography are being used experimentally in some of our hospitals, and that tomography is already one of the routine radiological procedures in cancer detection, but the hon. Gentleman must not assume that ultrasonic methods will completely replace those widely in use now. I will, however, certainly take his suggestion into account.