4th February 2021
World Cancer Day — Tuesday 4 February 2021
World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the largest and oldest international cancer organisation dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda. Learn more by visiting their website.
One of Cobalt’s key objectives as a medical charity is to support research, with one of the primary areas of cancer research being prostate cancer – a type of cancer that has recently overtaken breast cancer to become the most common cancer in the UK. The medical imaging provided by the Cobalt Imaging Centre in Cheltenham, and through our fleet of mobile scanners, has a crucial role in selecting the appropriate management strategy for each patient so they can start their treatment and recovery.
To learn more about the specialist imaging Cobalt provides for prostate and breast cancer patients, check out our recently recorded podcast with Karen Hackling-Searle, Head of MRI at Cobalt.
Cobalt supports the NHS with a Positron Emission Tomography/Computerised Tomography (PET/CT) which can both diagnose and stage cancer. The Cobalt PET/CT service was the first imaging service in the UK to use the isotope F18-PSMA. This imaging technique has proven to be invaluable for detecting the early recurrence of prostate cancer and it often results in alteration of traditional treatment pathways and more effective therapy. It has aided clinicians and surgeons to alter patient management accordingly and with two years’ worth of data, we are conducting a number of research projects to further document its success.
In partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, Cobalt also provides a dedicated MRI research facility, supporting many cancer research projects and clinical trials.
Each year Cobalt provides over 100,000 scans, including many free specialist cancer scans for the NHS that would not ordinarily be available for patients. Working in partnership with the NHS, Cobalt is also the largest provider on lung cancer screening in the UK. Using ultra-low-dose CT, high-risk patients have a CT scan in their community with the aim of identifying early-stage treatable lung cancer. There is no doubt that this service saves lives. Back in December 2020, we launched that lung cancer screening service in Thurrock, Essex, which has one of the highest rates of death from lung cancer in the UK and some of the highest rates of smoking with over 10% of the local population labelled as smokers. More on this story is available here.
We have provided training for healthcare professionals on a national and international basis work with medical experts in the field for a number of years. The Cobalt School of Clinical Imaging oncology education programme is now being developed online to enable us to reach a much larger audience. Please keep an eye out on our news stories for more information about this in future.