A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched to buy a £1.6 million robot to help treat men in Worcestershire with prostate cancer.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust launched the Rory the Robot campaign this week in the hope the cash can be raised to buy the machine for use at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, the county’s centre of excellence for urology.
The new machine will allow surgeons to remove tumours with increased precision through five cuts around the prostate gland rather than open surgery, meaning less blood loss, less pain after surgery, lower risk of complications and a decrease in recovery times from up to 12 weeks to between three and four.
Urology consultant and lead cancer clinician for the trust Adel Makar said similar machines were already in place in Birmingham and Gloucestershire and it was important patients in Worcestershire were afforded the same treatment.
“This surgery is already becoming available elsewhere in the country and we want to make it available in Redditch for all our Worcestershire patients,” he said.
“If everyone in Worcestershire donated just £5 each we would be able to buy the robot straight away. Please support us and help us save lives.”
About one man every hour dies of prostate cancer and it is predicted it will be the most common form of the disease by 2030. In Worcestershire about 2,500 men are suffering from prostate cancer with between 450 and 550 new cases diagnosed every year
The robot was developed by the US military to operate on soldiers injured on the battlefield over the internet but is now in use in civilian hospitals and can also be used to treat head and neck cancer as well as colorectal and heart surgery.
Residents and businesses are being encouraged to support the campaign by holding fundraising events.
Chairman of the Save the Alex campaign Neal Stote said: “This is a real boost for our hospital and patients across the county.
“While £1.6 million may seem a lot, together we can deliver life-changing results for prostate cancer patients.”
To donate to the campaign visit www.justgiving.com/rorytherobot or text RORY 97 plus the amount you wish to donate to 70070.