New x-ray machine arrives for breast cancer patients

Ruth, Rena and Mr Debasish Debnath with breast care nurses, radiographer and other fundraisers

THE fantastic efforts of two Fylde coast fundraisers has come to fruition after a new x-ray machine to help breast cancer patients was unveiled at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The Faxitron Biovision x-ray machine has been funded by the Trust’s charity – Blue Skies Hospitals Fund – and the Hint of Pink breast cancer charity run by two former breast cancer patients and nursing sisters, Ruth Boardman and Rena Shanahan.

Over the last two years the dynamic duo and their supporters raised more than £61,000 for the machine which will improve greatly improve the quality of care for Fylde coast breast cancer patients.

After handing over the new machine Ruth said: “We are absolutely chuffed to bits that it is finally here.

“Huge thanks to everyone who has helped us raise the funds.”

Rena added: “It’s absolutely amazing that it is here and that it will start being used in two to three weeks. We call it the ‘People’s Machine’.”

Mr Debasish Debnath, a consultant breast and oncoplastic surgeon at the Breast Care Centre for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This will be a service improvement for breast cancer patients as well as other breast conditions requiring x-ray examination of excised tissue in theatre.

“The machine will provide instant confirmation of a successful biopsy or excision procedure, reduction of anaesthetic time and a reduction in avoidable re-operation which will save theatre time and result in improved capacity.”

Currently, there can be a wait in mammography for the machine to be available and for the consultant radiologist to view and report the images to the surgeon.

This delay is often in the region of 30 to 45 minutes. The delay can be completely avoided with the new portable Faxitron machine.

Advantages of the £61,722 machine include being able to x-ray larger tissue samples of the breast as opposed to just smaller samples of tissue. The machine can be used to X-Ray samples from other areas of the body so it can be used in other areas of the hospital as well. It also saves theatre time thus giving cancer patients faster access to theatre slots.

Pauline Traynor, Lead Mammographer for the Trust, said: “When patients come in for breast surgery sometimes we have to take a small sample, which needs x-ray confirmation using a mammography machine.

“At the moment the sample is taken in the operating theatre and then it has to go to another area for analysis. The new machine is portable and we will have it in the operating theatre. We can get an instant result and patients don’t have to be under anaesthetic for a long time.

Lynette Bracegirdle, Breast Care Nurse for the Trust, said: “At the moment we only have one machine that is used for everything. The new machine will mean a shorter waiting time for our patients.”

Mr Debnath added: “It will make a big difference to our patients. We are very grateful to Blue Skies and to Hint of Pink for their generous support.”

Kila Redfearn, Head of Fundraising, said “Ruth and Rena are two of the most amazing ladies I have ever met, through their hard work and the rest of the Hint of Pink team, they have done it again! They are just fabulous.”

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