A life-saving scanner which could help detect cancer early for thousands of East Lancashire patients, has been unveiled at Burnley General Hospital.
The new prostate scanner which can diagnose cancers within minutes was officially opened in the hospital’s new Urology Investigation Unit.
The state-of-the-art machine was unveiled after a massive fund-raising campaign which saw kind-hearted people across the town help raise £50,000.
MP Gordon Birtwistle, who launched the campaign after his father died from prostate cancer, believes the scanner will help save thousands of lives in the town.
He said: “The whole town got behind it and everyone has been chipping in. It is a proud day for everyone involved.
“It is a horrible thought that one in five men will get prostate cancer but now we have got this fantastic new machine which will give patients early diagnosis and hopefully save lives.
“We smashed our fund-raising target and made more than £50,000.”
The new scanner will help detect kidney, prostate and testicular cancers and could significantly reduce the amount of time patients have to wait for diagnosis.
It has already been up and running in the urology department in Burnley General Hospital since the start of June and plans are already being made to buy a new bladder cancer scanner with the extra money raised.
Mohan Pillai, consultant urologist at Burnley General Hospital, said: “The urology department and the hospital would like to express sincere thanks for the tireless fund-raising for the state-of-the-art new prostate scanner which is already in use.
“This will not only help diagnose prostate cancer but also kidney cancers which will be a great asset to the hospital.
“We are also going to be buying a new endoscope which is used for fast-track diagnosis on suspected bladder cancers.
“They will undoubtable save thousands of lives over the coming years.
“This would not have been possible without the goodwill of people in Burnley.”
The campaign was only launched 12 months ago but it won the backing of the whole town – with thousands being raised with the help of Burnley Football Club, 110 Club, Burnley Miners Club and dozens of shops with fund-raising buckets.
Cancer patient Michael Willett, of Nelson, is one patient who will benefit from the new machine.
He said: “
Stuart Marshall, secretary of East Lancashire Prostate Cancer Support Group which meets at the hospital every month to support patients, said: “We are really pleased about the new scanner. It has been quite a journey.
“It will help patients in East Lancashire. When people are diagnosed they are often worried, upset or need help and advice and that is what we are all about.”