New treatment for skin cancer patients

SKIN cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital will be the first in the UK to be treated by new state-of-the-art equipment.

SKIN cancer patients at Ipswich Hospital will be the first in the UK to be treated by new state-of-the-art equipment.

The hospital has invested �80,000 in a new TOPEX, which is a radiotherapy treatment unit specifically designed to target skin cancers. The treatment will be given to patients from next week.

The unit uses x-ray technology and it is compact and flexible so can be used to treat patients in wheelchairs if necessary.

Nicola Garnham, senior radiographer, said; “Having the new machine means that clinicians can choose the most appropriate treatment for each patient.

“We treated around 80 skin cancers last year and the new TOPEX machine is going to allow us to keep the same treatment but almost halve the treatment time. It will mean that we can treat more patients in a day.”

Dale Fowler, radiographer, added: “The machine is very small and manoeuvrable so we can easily position it to suit the patient and as most of our patients are elderly this is important as it makes everything less daunting for them.

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“It allows patients to be more comfortable during their treatment as we can adapt the machine around the person.”

In 2001 Ipswich Hospital's radiotherapy centre was one of the first in the UK to introduce intensity modulated radiotherapy. Last month the team upgraded to RapidArc technology, which will reduce radiotherapy treatment times.

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