The public is being reminded not to delay if they notice any signs of cancer, as the Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Radiotherapy Department celebrates 25 years.Advertisement
The department is based at the Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital and opened in 1997.
As demand for the service became more frequent, the department saw a rapid expansion and investment.
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Today, the department provides external beam radiotherapy for the whole adult population of Lancashire and South Cumbria and has continued to diagnose and treat the public throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Radiotherapy is used to treat diseases (mainly cancer) and can be given in two ways: external radiotherapy using x-rays, or through internal radiotherapy or brachytherapy which involves drinking a liquid or putting radioactive material into or close to the tumour.
Gillian Clarkson, Radiotherapy Service Manager at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Despite the pandemic, cancer services remain open and our staff are committed to delivering the best possible outcomes for cancer patients.
“If you have any unusual signs or symptoms which relate to cancer, please don’t delay seeking help. In most cases it won’t be cancer, but not getting checked could lead to serious health complications.”
On average, the department at the Royal Preston Hospital delivers around 1,000 radiotherapy sessions per week, with the frequency of treatment depending on the size and type of tumour.
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To help relax patients during their treatment sessions, patients can now listen to their own personal playlist to help them relax, after the Rosemere Cancer Foundation donated over £2,000 to help the department purchase iPod Touches, Bluetooth speakers and a year-long Spotify Premium subscription.
Dan Hill, Rosemere Cancer Foundation’s chief officer, said: “Over the years, we have worked alongside our colleagues in Radiotherapy to support a range of projects aimed at reducing patients’ treatment anxiety, including nature inspired ceiling panels, two way speakers so that patients and radiotherapists can talk to one another during treatment sessions, and most recently iPods and a music subscription service so patients can now listen to their own personal playlist while undergoing treatment.
“We would like to congratulate our Radiotherapy colleagues not only on their department’s birthday but also their tireless commitment to always trying to come up with ways of making treatment the most comfortable it can be for their patients.”
Working closely with the Lancashire Clinical Research Facility, medical and research experts across Lancashire Teaching Hospitals work collaboratively to develop new treatments and medicines, with a number of studies in radiotherapy currently open for recruitment.
Jacqui Hudson, Radiotherapy Clinical Trials Radiographer for the Lancashire Clinical Research Facility, said: “One of our key priorities is to ensure local communities can be involved in all aspects of our research work.
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“Research helps to fill in the gaps in knowledge for safe and effective healthcare and we strongly encourage patients to speak to their doctor or health professional to see if they’re eligible to get involved.”
Around 200 patients visit the Cancer Centre every day to offer the best care and support for cancer patients and their families.
Kevin McGee, Chief Executive at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This is a significant milestone in the history books for cancer services at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals and for patients receiving cancer care and treatment across our region.
“I am hugely proud of the commitment and compassion our staff have provided these past 25 years and continue to provide on a daily basis to improve outcomes for those living with cancer.
“NHS cancer services remain open and I would urge anyone concerned about signs or symptoms of possible cancer to seek help as soon as possible.”
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