Scores of West Suffolk men are receiving a potentially life-saving earlier prostate cancer diagnosis thanks to equipment funded through a Bury Free Press campaign.
West Suffolk Hospital’s new ultrasound machine, called a TRUS, was bought following our ‘Beat It!’ fund-raising appeal, which brought in £65,000 in 2013.
Producing much clearer images than previous equipment, the machine also links to an MRI scanner making it easier to identify where biopsies need to be taken and allowing lots of samples to be taken at once.
Among those to benefit is Roger Davey, 65, who was found to have a higher than normal level of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in his blood in 2007. Although biopsies taken at the time using the old machinery did not highlight any abnormalities, further tests showed the level of PSA in his blood was continuing to rise.
Mr Davey, of Thurston, said: “I had around 37 samples taken using the new machine while under general anesthetic, which would not have been possible with the old equipment. It really helped my consultant to target all areas of the prostate so that he could pinpoint the problem.
“Without the new machinery, I don’t think he would have found the cancer until it had become more advanced and potentially more difficult to treat. Thanks to the new equipment, I’ve now got a diagnosis and can start treatment, which is good news for me and my family.”
Prostate cancer affects 40,000 men each year - killing one person an hour.
Jan Blofield, specialist urology nurse, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the TRUS. It is a top-of-the-range piece of kit which will allow us to test around 1,000 men every year, saving hundreds of lives.”