A significant advance in imaging of breast cancer will be introduced in the Isle of Man with help from the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust.
The Trust, which works to support the provision of high quality healthcare in the Isle of Man, made a considerable donation of £70,000 to the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group to assist with the cost of Digital Breast Tomosynthesis (DBT).
DBT, considered the future of breast imaging, involves taking multiple pictures of the breast to create a detailed 3D image that enables the detection of smaller more subtle cancers. DBT is shown to increase breast cancer detection rates and at the same time decreased the number of unnecessary callbacks.
The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group has raised almost £1.9 million to build and equip a dedicated breast care unit. The charity aims to equip the unit to the highest standard to help find breast cancers when they are smaller, enabling earlier treatment and reducing the need for invasive treatments such as chemotherapy and mastectomy.
Dr Rebecca Miller, Consultant Radiologist at Noble’s Hospital, said: ‘In DBT, a series of low dose breast x-rays are taken at slightly different angles. A computer processes this information to form a series of thin slices through the breast. This provides a clearer view of the texture of the breast tissue increasing the cancer detection rate by up to 40%. DBT also has the effect of reducing the superimposition effect of normal tissues that can result in an appearance suggesting a cancer. The use of DBT reduces the rate of false positives, i.e. where a person is recalled and after further assessment is shown not to have cancer, by 25%, thereby decreasing anxiety by reducing unnecessary recalls.
‘The enhanced cancer detection rate from DBT leads to the detection of smaller breast cancers, which results in earlier, less radical surgery, less oncological treatments and improved prognosis and survival.
‘The installation of DBT will occur in conjunction with the planned upgrade to the radiology computer system during the autumn/winter period. Initially the use of DBT will be confined to the symptomatic and screening assessment clinics, however we are currently exploring the introduction of a breast screening trial in which women invited for their first routine breast screening will have the option to have standard mammograms and DBT as part of the trial.’
Dr Miller added: ‘We would like to thank the Manx Breast Cancer Support Group for its tremendous fundraising efforts. The charity’s support along with the generosity of the public and the significant donations from the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust and the Medical Research Committee has enabled us to purchase DBT for the new Manx Breast Cancer Unit at Noble’s Hospital.’
Manx Breast Cancer Support Group Chairman Julie Stokes said: ‘The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group would like to say a massive thank you to the trustees of the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust, who have helped our equipment appeal to the tune of £70,000 to help fund DBT.
‘The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group has to date raised just under £1.9m to build and equip a state-of-the-art breast/screening unit at Noble’s Hospital, which has only been possible thanks to generous donations like this from the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust.
‘We currently screen more 6,000 women a year and have more than 100 women and men diagnosed with breast cancer each year. The introduction of DBT will enhance earlier detection and reduce the frequency of unnecessary recalls, both of which will benefit people we screen.’
The Trust was originally established in 1888 by the Island’s greatest benefactor, Henry Bloom Noble, in memory of his wife Rebecca. It was dedicated to improving healthcare in the Isle of Man and today, thanks to generous public donations and bequests, the Trust continues that work by funding the provision of new equipment, training and education, research and measures to improve conditions in hospitals, care homes and at home for convalescing patients, the sick, disabled, handicapped and infirm people.
Trust chairman Terry Groves said: ‘Our ambition is to help improve the delivery of high quality healthcare for the Isle of Man, and investment in DBT will achieve that aim. The Manx Breast Cancer Support Group clearly demonstrated that this new technology will bring huge benefits for patients being screened, in terms of early detection and reduced recalls, as well as contributing towards research into the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. It is a significant sum of money, but was essential to secure this advance in the screening of breast cancer for the Isle of Man.’
The Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust relies on donations and bequests from the public. If you would like to support the Trust, visit the website www.hbnhealthcaretrust.org.im, email email@example.com or call 616108.
Photograph: (from left) Senior Radiographer Alison Crebbin, Malcolm Clague from the Henry Bloom Noble Healthcare Trust and Michaela Morris, Executive Director for Acute Health Services