Fundraisers support fight against cancer

Posted on Tue, 04/10/2016

An xray machine capable of producing three dimensional pictures of the breast has been launched at QE Gateshead following a major fundraising appeal.

The state-of-the-art tomosynthesis machine was unveiled by local radio presenter Sue Sweeney at a special event at the hospital which celebrated the support of its fundraisers. The funds were raised by, the Women’s Cancer Detection Society, which has been supporting the QE’s breast cancer screening unit for 50 years,  QE Gateshead Charitable Funds, the QE’s own hospital charity, South Tyneside League of Friends, as well as  generous donations from kind  members of the public. 

Tomosynthesis machines allow small abnormalities in the breast to be seen more clearly and assist the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis more quickly, helping to reduce anxiety for patients.

The scanner uses a curved xray motion to take multiple image slices through the breast tissue, giving doctors a more in depth picture of any irregularities.

Doctor Jane Potterton, clinical director for the Gateshead Breast Screening Unit, said: “Over 500 women with breast cancer are diagnosed and treated every year in Gateshead, almost half of these are detected by breast screening. Whilst there have been great advances in breast cancer treatment, early detection remains vital to achieve the best outcome for all women.

“We are delighted to unveil our new tomosynthesis machine, which will help give more women the very best chance of survival.  We have had a fantastic response to this appeal and I would like to personally thank all of our donors and supporters who have helped us achieve our fundraising target and get the machine here today.”

Sue Sweeney, added: “I was delighted to be invited to launch this fantastic new piece of machinery at the QE Hospital. A mammogram can save your life and this new tomosynthesis machine will help more women get treatment earlier. It is amazing to hear all of the different fundraising efforts that have gone into raising the money for the machine, a huge well done to everyone who was involved in getting the funds for this life saving piece of equipment.”

QE Charitable Funds raises money to provide additional comforts, care or experiences for the direct benefit of patients and their families beyond that which the NHS provides. Through fundraising, the charity is able to touch the lives of thousands of people at the hospital every year.

The charity operates more than 40 charitable funds covering wards and departments across the hospital, which means that donors and fundraisers can identify exactly which part of the hospital they would like to support and we can guarantee that every single penny goes to that area.

To find out more about QE Charitable Funds, please visit

The Women’s Cancer Detection Society is a local charity founded in 1964. THE WCDS carried out pioneering work in breast cancer screening by running a charity screening services for almost 20 years. In 1988, the NHS Breast Screening Programme was established and the charity has since given support by providing equipment and research.

To find out more about WCDS, please visit




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