Equipment to improve treatment

Anyone treated for cancer locally has likely benefitted from equipment purchased by FORCE.

Our charity has spent nearly £1million on cutting edge items to enhance patient care at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital.

Making funds available to buy the most advanced life-saving technology available for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is one of FORCE’s key objectives. It is part of our ongoing strategy to ensure that local cancer patients along with their carers, families and friends are fully supported.

Every year our trustees consider new requests for funding and we continue to welcome applications for resources to provide state of the art equipment that will benefit local cancer patients.

Equipment purchased by FORCE

Here are some examples of the equipment we have funded:

Endoscopic Ultrasound Machine – £123,000

Endoscopic ultrasound is a diagnostic and therapeutic tool which enables physicians to provide accurate diagnosis to ensure proper treatment for specific cancers and other gastrointestinal conditions without the need for surgical access.

Pinpoint – £93,000

The Pinpoint system works by using a glowing fluorescent dye, injected during keyhole surgery for women with cervix or womb cancer to trace the lymphatic channels from a tumour to the nearest lymph gland. The dye can clearly be seen using a Pinpoint camera that relays detailed images to a high resolution screen. The so-called “sentinel” lymph gland can be easily identified and safely removed for laboratory analysis.The new information from that analysis can then guide further treatment decisions for the patient.

Delta 4 Radiotherapy Planning Equipment – £70,000

Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is an advanced technique which requires the highest level of precision in delivering the dose. Delta 4 allows tighter shaping of the radiation dose to the full extent of the tumour so healthy tissue can be spared. In some cases IMRT also allows clinicians to increase the dose, in the hope that this may provide a better outcome. Delta 4 acts as a ‘virtual patient’ for the radiation treatment. It is placed on the Linear Accelerator treatment couch, exactly where the patient would lie. The dose of radiation that the patient will receive is then delivered to the Delta 4 which produces a very accurate map of the strength of the radiation in each area.  This enables a detailed check of the dose distribution before treatment takes place.

40 Chemotherapy Infusion Pumps – £60,000

Intravenous chemotherapy can be given using a pump to give a controlled amount of drugs very slowly into the bloodstream.

Selectron Machine – £60,000

The Selectron is a machine that can deliver radiotherapy internally via special tubes known as applicators. This machine automatically places small radioactive sources inside the applicators so that the radiation is concentrated at the site where treatment is most needed.

Ultrasound Probe for Prostate Cancer Patients – £55,000

Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. It helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions including prostate cancer.

Immunohistochemistry Machines – £55,000

Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is a special staining process performed on fresh or frozen cancer tissue removed during biopsy. It is used to show whether or not the cancer cells have particular receptors on their surface. This information plays a critical role in treatment planning.

Ultrasound Machine for Breast Screening – £42,000

Ultrasound scans use sound waves to produce an image of the breast tissue. It is usually painless and takes only a few minutes to do. The ultrasound probe is moved over the breast to look at the tissue beneath.

Brachytherapy Planning Equipment – £40,000

Brachytherapy is a type of internal radiotherapy which gives a high dose of radiotherapy directly to the tumour but only a low dose to normal tissues. It’s mainly used to treat cancers in the prostate gland, cervix and womb but it may also be used to treat some other cancers, such as head and neck cancers. Brachytherapy may be given in addition to external radiotherapy.

Breast Boards – £7,000

Breast boards are used specifically in the treatment of breast cancer using radiotherapy. They have features to allow for the manipulation of a patient’s arms, head and shoulders.

Hydraulic Bed for Yeo Ward – £4,000

An adjustable bed that improves the comfort of the patient and aids medical staff in delivering care.

Patient Monitor – £2,500

Equipment to monitor a patient’s vital signs during treatment

Help us make a difference

This year our funding requirements will top £1 million. The growing demands on our services means this will only increase. Please help us by donating even the smallest amount today.

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