New machine to boost treatment of skin cancer patients at Norfolk’s biggest hospital

Patient Nora "Maureen" Keane (centre) is one of the skin cancer patients who will benefit from the n

Patient Nora "Maureen" Keane (centre) is one of the skin cancer patients who will benefit from the new machine. - Credit: Archant

Patients with certain skin cancers are being treated with a new piece of specialist radiotherapy equipment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N).

The new equipment offers better treatment for tumours on the face and will reduce the number of patients requiring surgery.

Dr Jenny Nobes, consultant clinical oncologist at the N&N, said: 'We are really pleased to be able to offer this new treatment service to our patients.

'This is an excellent addition to our world class cancer services.'

The N&N is the only hospital in Norfolk to offer the treatment.

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The new specialised treatment uses a machine which projects superficial x-rays, which only penetrate a few millimietres into the skin, and is very suitable for early-stage skin cancers.

Dr Nobes added: 'The machine is especially suited to tumours on the face where the treatment and repair of the skin is especially delicate.'

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It is particularly useful for treating skin tumours around the eyes and nose, because it avoids causing any unnecessary damage to normal tissues by treating a very small area.

Prevously some patients may have had to receive treatment while lying flat on a couch and wearing a large mask to limit mobility of their head.

This can be quite an uncomfortable experience for patients, but the new equipment will allow them to be treated in a chair or wheelchair, and wearing only a very small mask if necessary.

Nora Keane, also known as Maureen, 72 from Wroxham, is one of patients who is benefiting from this new type of treatment.

She has skin cancer positioned on the tip of her nose and was referred to the N&N's dermatology team by her GP.

'This is my first ever diagnosis and hearing the words can be quite frightening,' Ms Keane said.

'I was presented with two options of treatment, either this radiotherapy machine or surgery.

'By choosing the new machine it is was quicker, with a minimal risk of infection, and most importantly - no knife involved.'

She will undergo five treatments each lasting five minutes over the course of five days before returning for a follow up appointment the next week.

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