Local medical charity Cobalt has raised the £338,000 needed to purchase new equipment for the Thirlestaine Breast Centre. The new three dimensional mammography equipment can enable a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer at an earlier stage. It will provide clearer images and improved comfort for patients taking 3D pictures (like a hologram) of the whole breast. It will both provide a more comfortable ‘scan’, while also providing the chance of a more accurate diagnosis of early breast cancer. It is hoped that the introduction of this revolutionary machine will help to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer.
Julia Jenkins, Head of Fundraising, Cobalt said: “We are very grateful to all our supporters and volunteers for supporting this campaign and we have been very touched by the incredible things they have done to raise the money including concerts, sponsored head shaves, a pink themed football match and a children’s book! We know that more funds will be needed and therefore we will continue to have a designated breast cancer fund for fundraising throughout the year. The Cobalt Breast Cancer fund will be used to improve the diagnosis, research and patient experience for breast cancer patients.”
The Breast Screening Programme in Gloucestershire, is delivered by the NHS under the direction of Consultant Radiologist Professor Iain Lyburn. The team at the Centre aim to reduce mortality from breast cancer by finding signs of the disease at an early stage. The Thirlestaine Breast Centre at Cobalt House serves a population of 115,000 women of screening age in Gloucestershire. 28,000 screening mammograms are taken each year. Up to 125 symptomatic patients are also seen each week.
Professor Lyburn said: “This is absolutely fantastic news! This equipment will make a significant difference to the care of thousands of local women every year during their assessment and investigation of potential breast cancer. We have a great opportunity to enhance our research projects, including evolving applications of artificial intelligence in image analysis.”
The funds raised will also help to purchase vacuum-assisted breast biopsy equipment to increase the chance of finding the correct diagnosis earlier and contrast enhanced spectral mammography, a technology that helps clarify mammography results.
Cobalt has supported breast cancer services since the screening programme was launched in 1990, almost thirty years ago. For more information go to https://www.cobalthealth.co.uk/support-us/gloucestershire-breast-cancer-equipment-appeal/