Southend Hospital is one of just 12 centres across the country to be commissioned by NHS England to provide innovate new prostate cancer treatment using a new hydrogel device.
The gel can be used to minimise the exposure of certain parts of the body to radiation when patients are being treated for prostate cancer.
This means side-effects like pain and bleeding can be significantly reduced by as much as 70 per cent.
And it was all made possible thanks to a £15,000 donation that helped fund a 12-patient feasibility study, with the first patient, Terry Judd, 71, from Thundersley, being successfully treated in June this year.
Terry said: “I think this is a big step forward in cancer treatment because it helps to remove the side effects. I became aware of the trial when I saw an article in the Daily Mail, so I took the cutting in to show my consultant who knew about the gel but explained that it was very expensive. I didn’t think it was going to happen and then the hospital received the charitable donation to pay for my treatment. Since finishing my treatment, I’ve not experienced any deterioration or side effects. I want to thank everyone who donated towards the £15,000 because without that money I might not have received this treatment.”
The £15,000 donation comprises:
• £10,500 from Lions Clubs of South East Essex (Leigh-on-Sea, Rayleigh, Eastwood, Castle Point and Southend-on-Sea)
• £1,500 from Cadgers, a local prostate cancer support group
• £1,500 from Mark Iles in memory of his father, Alan Iles
• £250 from Castle Point Masonic Lodge
• £1,250 from Southend Hospital Charitable Foundation
Mr Tim Watts, Zone 2b Chairman of Lions Clubs of South East Essex, added:
“Many of us have either undergone or know someone who has undergone the sometimes damaging side effects of life saving cancer treatment and know how unpleasant they can be. This trial, already carried out successfully elsewhere in the country, has the potential to facilitate a step change in prostate cancer care for the local community. We wanted to help make that difference.”
James Green, Consultant Clinical Scientist and Head of Radiotherapy at Southend Hospital, said: “Our community’s tireless fundraising efforts have helped to bring the latest, state-of-the-art techniques to local patients. It is a tremendous effort, and one for which we are truly grateful.”