A cancer patient from Blyth joined fundraisers to celebrate technology seen for the first time ‘outside London’ at its new north east facility.
Two years ago a total of £80,000 was raised for two charities, the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and The Alan Shearer Foundation, through the Sir Bobby Robson – A Celebration event.
Now the people who volunteered their time to make that evening at The Sage Gateshead such a huge success have come back together to see life-saving technology their efforts have helped fund for cancer patients in the north east and Cumbria.
The money has enabled the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation to help fund a combination of cutting edge radiotherapy technology, which was previously only available in London and is now at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care (NCCC) at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
The stereotactic radiotherapy system uses detailed scans and computerised 4D treatment planning to treat cancer and deliver radiation with tremendous accuracy.
Purchase of the new technology has been made possible thanks to a special collaboration between the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and local hospital charities and the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation made its largest contribution to date of £850,000 to help fund it.
Patients with lung cancer are already receiving stereotactic radiotherapy treatment with scope to extend treatment to other tumour sites.
In addition, prostate cancer patients, including retired electrical technician Clive Sinton from Blyth, are now receiving radiotherapy treatment in the unit, which has such sophisticated imaging technology that standard treatment of 37 sessions can now be delivered in 20.
The 78-year-old said: “I was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September last year and I’ve had 14 treatments here, so six to go.
“I have a review in six weeks time and we’ll know better then where I’m at.
“There’s been no after affects for me so far. There can be side effects but thankfully they haven’t happened to me yet.
“There’s a tremendous atmosphere when you come here.
“All the staff are great and you really get to know each other. It’s all first name terms.
“There’s no better word for it than tremendous.”