Screen legend Julie Walters has unveiled a new 3D breast scanner along with a portable ultrasound at Royal Surrey County Hospital.
The award winning actress officially launched the tomosynthesis machine, which is better at detecting cancerous tumours than traditional breast imaging, during a special ceremony on Friday, January 15.
The star of stage and screen, who has enjoyed pivotal roles in Educating Rita, Calendar Girls, Mamma Mia!, the Harry Potter series and Billy Elliott, was joined by other local dignitaries.
The Trust was able to purchase the state-of-the-art piece of equipment after its fundraising appeal reached its £500,000 target.
The tomosynthesis machine works by using a curved x-ray motion to build a three-dimensional picture of the breast tissue.
Studies have found the scan led to a 25 per cent increase in early cancer detection.
Traditional mammograms only offer a two dimensional view, meaning that abnormalities can be masked or missed, leading to a delayed diagnosis.
Ms Walters said: “I was delighted to be asked to launch the tomosynthesis suite at Royal Surrey County Hospital.
“Like many people I know a number of women who have been touched by breast cancer and this machine could help save a lot of lives. It is absolutely fantastic.”
Tracey Irvine, Clinical Director of the Trust’s Breast Unit, said: “Over 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK every single year. We are making great advances in breast cancer treatment and our survival rates in Surrey are the best in the UK.
“Unfortunately not every woman will survive breast cancer, but we can always do more. The tomosynthesis machine will help give more women the very best chance of survival. The earlier we can detect her breast cancer, the better the chance we have of curing her with less invasive treatments.
Sarah Welsby, Royal Surrey’s head of fundraising, added: “We would like to thank Julie Walters for joining us to launch the new tomosynthesis suite. We have had a fantastic response to this appeal and I would personally like to acknowledge all of our donors and supporters who have helped us achieve our fundraising target. Introducing the tomosynthesis machine at Royal Surrey is a wonderful start to 2016.
“After reaching our target, a fund has been set up for the Breast Unit for those who wish to continue to support their work. All donations will continue to be greatly received.”
Please contact the Fundraising Team at the Royal Surrey on 01483 464146 or email firstname.lastname@example.org