WOMEN in the Okehampton area are set to benefit as Force Cancer Charity celebrates its 30th anniversary this year with a major equipment purchase.
To mark this milestone, the charity is funding a new advance in the treatment of women with cancer at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Force, which runs weekly support and information sessions in Okehampton, has provided nearly £100,000 to purchase a new surgical device, only available in the UK since 2015.
It is designed to save lives, reduce unnecessary treatment and cut costs to the hospital.
The equipment, called Pinpoint, has been installed in one of the hospital’s operating theatres and is designed to help surgeons identify more accurately the extent of uterine or cervical cancer during keyhole operations.
It is much more precise than a scan, so the technique can better inform women and their doctors of the true stage of the cancer and help tailor further treatment to their individual needs.
This means many patients can be reassured that their cancer is less advanced than thought and treatment needn’t be as aggressive.
John Renninson, clinical director of cancer services at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and a Force trustee, said: ‘This is a game changing step forward for our service and the patients that we treat.’
Force has invested £93,000 in the technology using money from a legacy made to the charity and projected profits from November’s Classic Galore concert.
Force chief executive Meriel Fishwick said: ‘Force is really pleased to be backing this very important step forward in the treatment of gynaecological cancers. This continues our long history of funding equipment to support innovative cancer treatments.’