GWH launches new breast cancer treatment appeal

Posted: March 3, 2014

Help us fund pioneering treatment for breast cancer patients

breast appeal

Brighter Futures, Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust's charity, is looking to raise £75,000 to fund a ground breaking new breast cancer treatment.

The Trust wants to offer intra-operative radiotherapy for breast cancer at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.  This pioneering treatment is new to the UK and is currently not available in the South West; however doctors say it would make a big difference to the lives of up to 150 women a year in Swindon. The charity needs £12,500 a month to fund the treatment, which covers the cost of the machine, staffing and special safety equipment.   

Unlike traditional methods when radiotherapy is given to patients after breast cancer surgery, this new treatment would see a single dose of radiotherapy given to patients while they are undergoing surgery.

This will mean that after surgery patients will not have to wait several weeks for radiotherapy, and will not have to travel to radiotherapy centres in Oxford or Bath for frequent treatment.

The new breast treatment also means women will experience less pain and sensitivity than experienced following normal radiotherapy and quicker recovery times.  It is also much safer and is shown to reduce the risk of infection.

Nathan Coombs, Consultant Breast Surgeon said: "We are very excited about this new treatment because of the difference it could make to the quality of life for our breast cancer patients.  Women who have had surgery often face an anxious time worrying about tumour development while they wait several weeks to begin radiotherapy; with this new treatment that anxiety is reduced. 

Also, for the majority of women the new treatment will mean they'll require no further radiotherapy after surgery.  So this will remove the inconvenice and the cost of daily trips to Oxford or Bath for radiotherapy.  For many of our patients and their families making these trips can take over their life, and are both unsettling and tiring."

Women given the new treatment will be part of cutting edge international research into the treatment of breast cancer. The Trust anticipates that they will begin carrying out this new treatment on patients from July.

A range of fundraising activities are being planned for the coming months including a 338 mile 'Three Cities Cycle Challenge' from London to Brussels via Amsterdam in August, and a number of GWH staff are fundraising.

Head of Fundraising for Brighter Futures, Jen Green said: "This is a fantastic cause and we really hope the people of Swindon get behind us.  Almost all of us will know someone who has been affected by breast cancer.  We're going to be organising a number of activities which the public will be able to get involved in; and we're also inviting people to come up with their own fundraising ideas to help us fund this new innovation for breast cancer."

Brighter Futures supports the Great Western Hospital and community healthcare across Wiltshire. Helping to fund equipment, new treatments and services which are not funded through the NHS budget.

Get involved!

If you are interested in helping to raise money for this appeal or would like more information please email fundraising@gwh.nhs.uk or call 01793 605631. 

Get in touch with us via Twitter about any fundraising ideas you have or any questions about the appeal using #GWHbreastappeal. 

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