HC Deb 08 February 1984 vol 53 c674W
Mrs. Jill Knight

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what investigations his Department has made of new medical techniques aimed at avoiding the need for mastectomy operations; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Studies of treatment of breast cancer are regarded as biomedical research and the Department looks to the Medical Research Council, the main Government-funded body carrying out such work under a grant-in-aid from the Department of Education and Science, to meet its needs in this field.

The Department has emphasised to the MRC its view of the importance of maintaining a strong fundamental research effort with the aim of improving the prognosis for breast cancer and as part of that effort, the Council has funded trials to compare the conservative management of breast cancer with conventional surgical treatment and these are still in progress. I am also aware of trials being carried out in teaching hospitals and elsewhere on the initiative of the medical profession and no doubt the results of these when available will help clinicians to decide on the most acceptable form of effective treatment for the future.