A PAIR of cancer survivors have joined campaigners determined to see pioneering surgery rolled out to Swindon patients at the Great Western Hospital.
Anne Slater, 77, and June Kennedy, 69, will hold a second-hand sale on Saturday to help towards the £75,000 needed by GWH’s charity Brighter Futures to pay for a year’s worth of trailblazing breast cancer radiotherapy treatment.
The hospital is hoping to offer intra-operative radiotherapy, a procedure which zaps areas affected by breast cancer with radiotherapy while still in the operating room, and could make a major difference to the lives of up to 150 women a year in Swindon.
This would allow patients to receive targeted radiotherapy and save them hours of travel miles to centres in Oxford or Bath for frequent treatment over several weeks.
June, of Liden, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005. The tumour returned in 2010 and after weeks of chemotherapy and a course of radiotherapy treatment in Oxford, she had both breasts removed.
“I had to make 15 trips to Oxford,” she said. “The longest day I had, I got up at 6.30am and got home at 4pm in the afternoon because I took the hospital’s transport.
“It was exhausting. To think that somebody could have this done and be finished after the operation, it is just amazing. I would not wish anybody to go through what I went through in any way. And this treatment is just marvellous. It would just be so much easier for patients that way.”
The mother-of-one added: “It is the first step to better care in Swindon and we are hoping that this will lead to the creation of a radiotherapy centre in Swindon.”
Anne, of Liden, was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 42 in 1979. She did not undergo radiotherapy but had to have one of her breasts removed to reduce her risk of relapse. The cancer never returned.
“It’s just a great cause to support,” said the mother-of-one. “I was one of the lucky ones – the cancer never came back. I had an operation and they kept me in the hospital for two weeks. It was a big operation in those days. It’s just incredible to think how much things have changed. This new treatment would be absolutely brilliant.”
The sale will take place between 2pm and 4pm at Liden Community Hall.
To donate items call Anne on 01793 323630 or June on 01793 433114. To donate towards Brighter Futures’ Breast Cancer Appeal visit justgiving.com/brighterfutures3.