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Emergency Covid-19 support fund grant helps Rosemere keep cancer clinic running

Posted on - 11th December, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Health, Preston News
Inside a radiotherapy treatment room at Rosemere Cancer Centre
Inside a radiotherapy treatment room at Rosemere Cancer Centre

An emergency grant of £7,876 has been given to Rosemere Cancer Foundation by the ‘Lancashire Responding’ Covid-19 Community Support Fund.

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The grant is to help the charity keep a new clinic running, which treats former cancer patients left with debilitating side-effects following radical radiotherapy.

At the start of February, Rosemere Cancer Foundation committed to spending £283,521 on setting up the nurse-led Pelvic Radiation Disease (PRD) Clinic within Rosemere Cancer Centre, Lancashire’s and South Cumbria’s specialist cancer and radiotherapy treatment centre at the Royal Preston Hospital.

Read more: Former cancer patients to be helped with debilitating side effects of radiotherapy thanks to new Preston service

The money was also to cover the clinic’s running costs over a pilot period
while it proved its case for permanent funding from the various hospitals trusts referring patients.

Some patients who undergo radical radiotherapy to the pelvic area for cancers such as cervical, womb and other gynaecological cancers, prostate cancer and bowel and bladder cancers, can be left with side-effects as the body heals at the end of their treatment.

Ceiling lights for radiotherapy patients
The ceiling lights at Rosemere Cancer Foundation which will benefit radiotherapy patients

Side effects can include incontinence, diarrhoea, constipation, excessive wind, bloating, tummy cramps and bleeding from the bottom. Depending on the cancer treated, PRD symptoms can also include vaginal bleeding, blood in the urine, painful intercourse and erectile dysfunction as well as aching around the pelvis and lower back and swelling in the legs.

An increasing clinic caseload and the coronavirus pandemic, which has knocked Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s ability to raise funds, threatened the clinic’s future but the grant from the ‘Lancashire Responding’ Covid-19 Community Support Fund, is helping to make it more secure.

Read morePrestonians urged to give a gift to those in RPH this Christmas

Rosemere fundraiser Rebecca Arestidou said: “We are very grateful to have received this money from ‘Lancashire Responding’ for what is a brand new, flagship service for us that is already helping a lot of patients, who maybe in the past would have put up with some horrible side-effects that really affected their quality of life.

“The PRD clinic is able to assess patients and either treat or help them manage symptoms that they needn’t have to live with unacknowledged as a trade-off for being cancer-free.

“When the clinic launched, no one could have foretold what was about to happen in terms of the pandemic, which decimated our fundraising calendar and threatened major commitments such as this.”

Read moreSeries of Christmas baubles by Walton-le-Dale carpenter helps out Rosemere Cancer Foundation 

Latest figures show that annually at Rosemere Cancer Centre, approximately 550 prostate cancer patients undergo radical pelvic radiotherapy along with 121 gynaecology patients, 127 bowel cancer patients and 44 bladder cancer patients.

It is estimated that half of these 857 patients from across Lancashire and the South Lakes will develop post-treatment PRD to an extent that it affects their quality of life.

To make a donation to Rosemere Cancer Foundation, click here.

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