Early diagnosis makes difference to thousands
IT is estimated one in two people will be affected by cancer at some point in their life and CT scanners play a vital role in early diagnosis and successful treatment.
Ali Williams, manager of the Focus Support Team at Gloucestershire’s Oncology Centre, stressed just how important the technology is for patients.
She said: “Diagnosing cancer at an early stage is so important. When we spot cancer early we are much more likely to be able to treat it successfully.
“Many of our patients are diagnosed using CT scanners, which are invaluable in giving our team an accurate picture of where cancer is located in the body and how it is responding to treatment. “A CT scan can inform our surgical teams by showing how close the cancer is to major organs before they operate.”
Every year more than 4,000 local people are diagnosed with cancer and visit the Gloucestershire Oncology Centre for treatment. The Focus team is there to support and advise patients at every step, from a diagnosis to advice during and beyond their treatment.
For many of their patients, the wait for a scan can be an anxious time. “Whether they need a scan for an abnormal lump or are waiting to know how they are responding to treatment, many patients feel considerable stress and would like a scan done as soon as possible,” she said. “It can be an anxious wait for their families too.
“There are also a huge number of people who have scans and find out they don’t have cancer or need treatment, it’s so hard for them when they are waiting to find out.”
She said Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity’s £1.2million appeal would make a huge impact for local people fighting cancer.
“Around 30 per cent of the 80,000 scans taken at Cheltenham General and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital each year are to identify or monitor cancer, so this appeal will make a huge impact for so many local people each year,” she said.
With a faster diagnosis we’ll be able to move people into treatment at the earliest opportunity, and our staff will have the best possible information available to them.
“The new scanners will make such a difference.”