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Keeping Gloucestershire ahead

Funding breast cancer research nurses

Cobalt has supported breast cancer services since the screening programme was launched in 1990. In 2019 we were able to purchase new 3D mammography equipment which enables a more accurate diagnosis of breast cancer at an earlier stage. It is hoped that the introduction of this improved technology will help to reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer. Now, 31,000 screening mammograms are carried out each year and up to 200 symptomatic patients are also seen each week at the Thirlestaine Breast Centre in Gloucestershire.

We now have an opportunity to use the expertise at the Thirlestaine Breast Centre and the new diagnostic equipment to participate in vital research. In order to do this Cobalt are supporting the funding for two breast cancer research nurses. Research is vital to find out which treatments work better for patients, however there is no available funding within NHS budgets for these posts – they only continue with charitable support.

Breast cancer

The benefits Breast Cancer Research Nurses bring

Dr Sarah Vinnicombe, Consultant Radiologist talks about the significance of Breast Cancer Research to the work healthcare professionals do.

Thank you

A big thank you for all your support

Dr Sarah Vinnicombe, Consultant Radiologist thanks our supporters on behalf of her colleagues at the Breast  Centre where support for the breast cancer research nurses makes a difference.

Teenagers and young adults with cancer nurse

The Cobalt TYA Cancer Nurse ensures that an appropriate framework, for meeting the needs of young adult cancer patients, is established at a time when they are most vulnerable.

Raise funds

We need to raise funds to make this happen

We need to raise £75,000 each year to enable this to happen. Every donation, no matter the size, is important. We are asking all people who want to support Cobalt’s work, including individuals, community groups, businesses, trusts and foundations to donate what they can. £128 funds a research nurse for a day to develop and coordinate new and ongoing clinical trials, which will in turn give patients access to the best care and treatments.

If you’ve not yet given, you can still donate to the project below.

Research is essential

Research is essential to find out which treatments work better for patients. It plays an important role in progressing medicine and making sure that we use existing treatments in the best possible way. Research can fill gaps in knowledge and change the way that healthcare professionals work.

The breast cancer research nurses enable breast cancer research trials to take place in the Gloucestershire Hospitals under the direction of Professor Iain Lyburn and Dr Sarah Vinnicombe.

Cobalt Health expert insight: How we continue to bring quality healthcare to Gloucestershire.

Research is essential

Our Equipment

breast cancer equipment 1
breast cancer equipment 2

The equipment makes it possible to:

  • Detect breast cancer at an earlier stage
  • Enable more accurate detections
  • Make treatment more effective and reduce unnecessary procedures
  • Advance research into this important area using the latest equipment
  • Ultimately deliver cost saving for the NHS
  • We are delighted to be able to  offer patients the best chance of early diagnosis, more effective treatment and ultimately save lives.

Sarah McCloskey – Breast Cancer Research Patient

What was your initial diagnosis and where are you now on your journey?
I have previously had lumps that were shown to be thickened tissue and more recently several cysts. I had a large cyst drained a couple of years ago. I just have large lumpy boobs!

How did you find out about the breast cancer research available?
Research staff contacted me.

Why did you decide to take part in research?
It’s the responsibility of all of us to do what we can to help future generations.

What was the screening process like?
The screening process was very thorough I think. The researchers have to go through all the possible results and what as a participant you will and won’t be told. I would have taken part anyway.

When did you officially start taking part in your research study?
July 2020.

Which research study are you participating in?

Do you know what the study is aiming to research specifically?

The purpose of the trial is to see whether additional types of imaging as well as the mammogram assist with the earlier diagnosis of breast cancer.

How have you found taking part in research?
No problem

Have the nurses explained everything thoroughly and what has your care been like whilst taking part in research?
The nurses have been very thorough.

Why is research important?
Research is very important to examine ways to protect the next generation. Early diagnosis is key alongside NHS finite resources. Does early intervention through costly screening save lives and money in the long run.

Prior to Cobalt funding the two roles of the breast cancer research nurse, there was no breast cancer research available locally, do you view these roles as vital now?
I had no idea that there were no breast cancer research nurses. Given how common this type of cancer is then this should surely be a very necessary resource and investment in the future treatment.