An Aberdeen charity has funded an innovative software to improve cancer care for patients in the north-east, a move which it’s hoped could attract new staff to NHS Grampian.
Friends of Anchor has contributed £19,000 to purchase a software licence to allow doctors to carry out advanced 3D scanning.
The technology has been implemented at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) and will benefit at least 250 patients every year.
Doctors have been able to use the 3D scanning software to carry out tomosynthesis-guided biopsy – a new and advanced type of mammography which helps to detect cancer sooner.
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Dr Gerald Lip, consultant radiologist and clinical director for the North East Scotland breast screening programme, applied to Friends of Anchor for the funding.
He explained that the benefits to the department have been significant since the upgrade was put in place late last year, and that new staff could be attracted to work within Aberdeen as a result of the technology.
He said: “The 3D breast biopsy software upgrade we received thanks to Friends of Anchor has already started to benefit patient management.
“Some lesions are only seen using this method, so the benefits are significant.
“Using up-to-date and cutting-edge technology is also a draw in bringing staff to NHS Grampian, who want to work with new systems.
“Aberdeen is the third site in Scotland now using this particular method, ensuring ARI continues to be in the forefront to the benefit of patients and staff alike.”
With the 3D scanning software, X-rays show lesions and calcifications in a patient’s breast more clearly than with traditional methods, resulting in a reduced need for repeat biopsies, and therefore improving the cancer treatment process.
The upgrade also allows for more accurate placement of surgical wires which are used to remove cancerous areas of tissue.
Friends of Anchor’s vice chairman Andy Hutcheon said: “As a charity, we are delighted to be able to support the breast symptomatic services at ARI, with the latest software now in use thanks to funding from Friends of ANCHOR.
“The difference this upgrade has brought to the department is marked, with around 250 patients a year benefitting.”