A charity has donated a lamp to Northampton General Hospital for treating skin cancers.
The £12,000 photo dynamic therapy (PDT) lamp has been donated by Weedon-based charity PDT for Cancer Cure.
Dermatologists at NGH will now be able to use the kit as a non-invasive alternative to conventional treatment, including surgical procedures, for certain types of skin cancer and sun-damaged skin that might one day turn cancerous.
PDT for Cancer Cure managing director, Bill Loryman, said: “We’re a national charity with around 6,000 donors and our ambition is to see every hospital equipped with PDT systems so that patients can get the best treatment locally, as well as to support those at the forefront of ongoing skin cancer research.”
The charity was established in 2011 with the aim of promoting the use of PDT in skin cancer treatment and to raise funds to equip every major hospital to be able to provide a local service for patients.
In PDT a special light activates a cream which has been applied to the affected area of skin. This treatment kills the abnormal cells in the skin.
The £12,000 BF-Rhodo LED is a laser-based lamp and works through varying the light intensity and duration of the illumination.
It is particularly useful when treating sensitive areas of the body, making it less painful.
Additional bits of kit also come in the same range.
Mobile ‘ambulight’ systems can be worn at home to treat superficial non-melanoma skin cancer and their tripleheads mean several lesions can be treated at once, reducing visits to hospital.
Not only does that cut down on expensive overnight hospital stays, but it ensures patients are not unduly incovenienced.
Photodynamic equipment is also used in cancers of the prostate, lung, skin, mouth and bile duct. People can be treated as outpatients and therefore recover more quickly.
NGH consultant dermatologist, Dr Pick Woo, said: “We are very excited at the prospect of receiving this photo dynamic therapy lamp as it will give our patients with sun-damaged skin, certain types of skin cancer and a variety of skin conditions a wider range of treatment options.
“It is an effective form of non-invasive treatment and results in minimal scarring.”