Changing the way that we treat patients with cancer


Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the UK. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lives.

QEHB Charity is determined to help our amazing clinicians to give the best care possible to patients with breast cancer at the hospital. Thanks to your incredible support, we brought two pieces of equipment to the Radiotherapy Department, costing a huge £400,000.

This equipment meant that doctors at QEHB could offer a new form of treatment to patients, called Deep Inspiration Breath Hold (DIBH). This is perfect for patients with left-sided breast cancer, as this technique moves the breast away from the heart during treatment, minimising the dose to surrounding areas and protecting the heart.

This system has revolutionised treatment for patients with left-sided breast cancer. Ben Allen, Technical Lead Radiographer at QEHB, said: “This new equipment allows the radiographers and the patients to be confident in the DIBH treatment and ensures we are delivering the radiotherapy exactly as we plan to.”

Thanks to the Align Surface Guided Radiotherapy Technology (SGRT) which was funded thanks to your donations, women receiving breast cancer treatment at QEHB are no longer required to have tattoos in order to receive their treatment.

When breast cancer patients receive radiotherapy treatment, they are usually required to have at least three tattoos on their chest, so that the treatment is delivered to the right place.

Although small, these tattoos will be there for the rest of the woman’s life as a permanent reminder of their cancer and the treatment that they have received, and can have a further psychological impact on the patients.

The new treatment has been made possible thanks to SGRT, which utilises camera-based technology to detect the patient’s skin surface and allows the radiographer to position the patient without the need for tattoos.

Ben said: “We are incredibly proud to be the first NHS hospital in England to be able to treat breast cancer patients without the need for tattooing. This has only been made possible thanks to the incredible generosity of all those who donated to QEHB Charity’s Breast Cancer appeal.”

With your help, we will be able to fund even more incredible equipment like this in the future, changing the way that we treat cancer and improving patients’ experiences.

You can help us fund more pieces of equipment like this by donating here

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University Hospitals Birmingham Charity is a company limited by guarantee in England (No.10004003) and a charity registered in England and Wales (No.1165716).Registered Office: Fisher House, Mindelsohn Way, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, B15 2GN

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