NEWS that prostate cancer has become the third most common cause of cancer death in the UK has added fresh impetus to the Rory the Robot campaign.
More than a quarter of the money needed to fund the £1.6million robot, which will be based at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch, has already been raised. And with a full programme of fund-raising planned for 2018, it is hoped the state-of-the-art machine could soon be in operation at the Woodrow Drive site.
Last week Prostate Cancer UK revealed that in 2015, 11,819 men died in the UK from prostate cancer, exceeding deaths from breast cancer.
It put prostate cancer in third place behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer as the country’s killer cancers.
Rory fund raising co-ordinator Nicky Langford said: “The biggest and scariest fact is that one man dies every hour somewhere in the UK from prostate cancer. In Worcestershire around 500 men are diagnosed each year with prostate cancer.”
The Alex is home to a £30million cancer treatment centre and its urology department is among the best the UK. With Rory the Robot more patients could be treated, they would spend less time in hospital and recover faster from surgery with less scarring.
It would also mean Redditch attracting some of the best surgeons in the world to use him.
The fund-raising campaign is headed by Redditch businessman Ian Jukes, himself a prostate cancer survivor.
“When we started five years the focus was purely on Rory but since then, given the number of men affected by prostate cancer, it has morphed into something else,” he said.
“It really emphasises the need for our campaign to succeed.”
The campaign has the backing of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and is currently being reviewed by the Regional Specialist Commission which needs to give the go-ahead.
“The idea of having robotic surgery in our area and the impact this would have on our community would be absolutely huge,” said Ian.