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Robson opens new CT scanners at hospital

PUBLISHED: 09:36 08 December 2001 | UPDATED: 10:59 03 March 2010

FOOTBALL legend Bobby Robson may have a small matter of his Newcastle United side having to face up to his beloved Ipswich Town tomorrow … but his hectic schedule didn't stop him from officially opening two new cancer scanners at Ipswich Hospital.

FOOTBALL legend Bobby Robson may have a small matter of his Newcastle United side having to face up to his beloved Ipswich Town tomorrow… but his hectic schedule hasn't stopped him from officially opening two new cancer scanners at Ipswich Hospital.

The former Ipswich Town and England manager arrived in the town yesterday to open the hospital's new state-of-the-art CT scanners.

After undergoing cancer treatment twice himself during the past decade, it is a cause close to Mr Robson's heart and he was only too happy to help.

"This is, for me, a very special town with very special people and, apart from a mere football match on Sunday, this is a very special assignment," he said.

"I've had first-hand experience of the need for a CT scanner in my life and, because of that, anything that I can do to promote the development of scanners is important to me.

"I'm fully aware of the importance of this sort of brilliant tool. It's man's magic, I believe. It will help to save lives and will shorten the time that people have to wait before one knows what sort of life is ahead of you."

Installed in a purpose-built suite at the Heath Road hospital, the £800,000 equipment will allow faster and more accurate diagnosis of the disease for cancer patients in the town.

The facilities, bought as part of the NHS modernisation programme, are the third generation of CT scanners to be installed at Ipswich Hospital.

Mr Robson, 68, revealed in his autobiography how he underwent surgery for cancer of the colon in 1992 while coaching at Dutch club, PSV Eindhoven.

He secretly booked into the St Anne's Hospital in Geldorf, Holland, to get the cancer growth removed without even his friends knowing the real reason why he was there.

The soccer boss also had a second cancer scare in 1995, while he was boss at Portuguese champions Porto, when a malignant melanoma was discovered growing across his face.

Huw Davies, a consultant maxillofacial surgeon at Ipswich Hospital, told Mr Robson he would die unless he had surgery at once and the football legend had the operation at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

The pair have since become good friends and met up again during yesterday's launch.

The scanners have been installed in the diagnostic imaging department of the hospital. The first CT scanner at the hospital was bought after a charity appeal in the 1980s.

In addition to the new equipment, the hospital has also installed a direct teleradiology link to other specialist centres to allow the rapid transmission of images. Doctors believe that will enhance the management of major trauma and neurosurgical emergencies.

Mr Robson's busy day did not end there for he also attended the BTexact Technologies Christmas Gala party last night in aid of The Prince's Trust.


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