A CAMPAIGN to raise £1.6 million for a new machine to treat men in Worcestershire suffering with prostate cancer has raised £10,000 in just a month.
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust launched the Rory the Robot campaign in April to raise the cash to buy the surgical robot.
The machine, which will be based at Redditch’s Alexandra Hospital, will allow surgeons to remove tumours through five precise cuts around the prostate rather than open surgery.
It will mean less blood loss, less pain after surgery, a lower risk of complications and recovery times of between three to four weeks in comparison with the current rate of up to 12 weeks.
The machine was developed by the US military to allow surgeons based in America to operate remotely on soldiers injured on the battlefield over the internet, but has since been developed for use in general hospitals.
It can also be used for head and neck cancer as well as colorectal and heart surgery.
The trust’s urology consultant and lead cancer clinician Adel Makar said prostate cancer survival rates in the UK were already among the best in Europe but he was keen Worcestershire stayed up to speed with neighbouring counties, where the machine is already available.
“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.
“The Rory the Robot appeal has got off to a great start and I would like to thank everyone who has donated so far.”
Prostate cancer claims the life of one man every hour and experts are predicting it will be the most common form of the disease by 2030.
In Worcestershire alone 2,500 men are living with the disease at any one time, with about 450 to 550 new cases diagnosed every year.
Neal Stote, chairman of the Save the Alex campaign, said: “This is a real boost for our hospital and patients across the county.
“While £1.6million 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 RORY97 + £amount to 70070.
Sponsorship forms are also available from www.worcsacute.nhs.uk/rorytherobot.