Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the UK. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lives. QEHB Charity’s Breast Cancer Appeal is aiming to further improve the quality of care that patients with breast cancer receive at the hospital.
The Charity’s aim is to bring revolutionary new equipment to Birmingham, and to provide added extras that will help to make things a little easier for patients with breast cancer.
Last year QEHB Charity teamed up with Ladies Fighting Breast Cancer (LFBC) to raise money to purchase a mobile mammogram unit, providing breast screenings in the community for people who may not be able to access an examination at the hospital.
LFBC founder Veronica Kumeta explained: “Whilst survival rates are improving all the time, one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, so we have a duty to ensure that people know what to look out for and examine themselves regularly.”
Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham already offers patients a number of cancer treatments that are not available in every NHS hospital and now the Charity is fundraising for an advanced piece of equipment for breast cancer, ensuring the hospital continues to be a centre of excellence for cancer care.
QEHB Charity will be bringing in two new pieces of imaging equipment for the Radiotherapy Department, which will cost a total of £400,000. The equipment will allow doctors at QEHB to offer a new technique called Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH) to patients undergoing radiotherapy for left sided breast cancer. DIBH allows doctors to take advantage of a patient holding their breath, which moves the breast away from the heart during treatment delivery, minimising the dose to surrounding areas and protecting the heart. This system will revolutionise treatment for patients with left-sided breast cancer.
Ben Allen, Technical Lead Radiographer at QEHB said: “This new equipment allows the radiographers and the patients to be confident in the DIBH treatment delivery and ensures we are delivering the radiotherapy exactly as we plan to.
“It is a patient friendly system and is extremely quick and easy to use, minimising the time the patient needs to lie on the treatment couch whilst ensuring the highest quality delivery of DIBH.”
This equipment will be another example of how, with your help, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity can ensure the best long term care for patients, by providing added extras over and above what the NHS can provide.