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Grants come in to keep Preston cancer clinic open

Posted on - 5th January, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Preston News
Inside a radiotherapy treatment room at Rosemere Cancer Centre
Inside a radiotherapy treatment room at Rosemere Cancer Centre

A clinic set up to help local former cancer patients suffering with life impacting treatment side effects has received further grants to keep it going during the coronavirus pandemic.

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A grant of £5,000 from the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund in Lancashire, plus £2,000 each from the Hospital Saturday Fund and the Harold and Alice Bridges Charity, have been awarded to Rosemere Cancer Foundation for its Late Effects Pelvic Radiation Disease (PRD) Clinic at Rosemere Cancer Centre at Royal Preston Hospital.

Last February, charity Rosemere Cancer Foundation committed to funding the set-up and running costs of the new clinic, a commitment of £283,521, for a pilot period to enable it prove its case for permanent funding from the various local hospital trusts referring patients to it.

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

Approximately half of all 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, are likely to be left with life impacting side effects to some degree post treatment.

These side effects can include incontinence, diarrhoea, constipation, excessive wind, bloating, tummy cramps and bleeding from the bottom.

Rebecca Arestidou from Rosemere fundraiser

Rosemere fundraiser Rebecca Arestidou, who has been applying for grants to help with the clinic’s costs, had already received a £7,876 grant from Lancashire’s COVID-19 Community Support Fund

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

Rebecca said: “Our commitment to the PRD clinic is spread over three years so we didn’t anticipate any sort of funding issues even though we expected it to attract increasing referrals from throughout Lancashire and South Cumbria as it became better known.

“Our priority was helping former cancer patients receive help for some really miserable symptoms, which in some cases they may have been putting up with for years, but which can be treated to the point of cure or at least managed to make life better. What we couldn’t have foreseen last February was the impact of Covid-19, which has dented our ability to raise funds.

“We are therefore truly grateful to the trustees of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, the Hospital Saturday Fund and the Harold and Alice Bridges Charity for recognising the clinic’s importance and for the grants they have given us to help keep it going into its second year.

“If you or anyone you know has undergone radical pelvic radiotherapy and have been left with side effects, please seek a referral as there is no need to suffer in silence or put up with ongoing pain and discomfort as a trade-off for being cancer-free.”

Read more: From France to Rosemere – the Prestonian spreading Christmas cheer in mum’s memory

Updated figures show that just short of 1,000 patients from across Lancashire and South Cumbria undergo radical pelvic radiotherapy annually at Rosemere Cancer Centre. Of these, just over half are patients being treated for prostate cancer.

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