A PENSIONER with cancer has appealed to an MP for help as he continues to wait for a life-saving operation.

Michael Swallow, aged 81, has been told he could only have six months to live without an operation on the tumour which was found in his mouth during a dental visit in November.

The diagnosis was confirmed with a biopsy and CAT and MRI scans and, at a consultation about four weeks ago, he was advised that surgery was required.

This week Mr Swallow, of Brook Farm Drive, Malvern, attended a further appointment at Worcestershire Royal Hospital where he hoped he would be told the date and location of the operation – but that was not the case.

His son Tim, who attended this week’s appointment with his father, said: “We were informed by the consultant - a gentleman who appeared as upset by the situation as I and my father are - that currently Worcestershire Royal for ‘infrastructure’ reasons were unable to offer this surgery and that, despite efforts to move my father to another location or trust for the surgery, no such opportunity had yet been identified.

“The situation for my father is extremely serious.

"We were advised that he should have received the surgery by now, that any further delay could result in even more extensive surgery should the tumour spread into his bone.

"He was advised that without any treatment at all he has a prognosis of perhaps six months.”

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin has taken on the fight for Mr Swallow and said: “I will be asking the senior management of the acute trust to look into this case and report back as a matter of some urgency.”

Dr Suneil Kapadia, chief medical officer of the trust, said: “We’ve identified a small number of patients requiring extremely complex reconstructive surgery for their head or neck, who should receive that surgery in a specialist centre.

"We have taken these actions purely in the interests of patient safety.

"We apologise for the delay in Mr Swallow’s surgery, and would like to reassure him that we are doing everything we can to ensure he receives the most appropriate treatment for his condition as soon as possible.”