Thanks to the supporters of Sheffield Hospitals Charity we have been able to purchase a Specialised Ultrasound Processor. We investigate and diagnose a large number of cancers and this equipment allows us to diagnose and treat patients as quickly as possible.

Anna Hawley, Senior Sister on the Clinical Investigations Unit

We know how important it is that our medical teams have access to the latest technology to deliver the best possible care, that’s why we work together with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals to ensure that local patients have access to the latest cutting-edge equipment.

Pancreatic cancer patients now have better chances

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer related deaths in the UK. It is hard to detect and it is widely accepted that an early diagnosis is vital to increasing the chances of survival.

Previously, diagnosis was determined by either CT or MRI scans, but were often affected if the patient had serious inflammation, which a large number of patients do. For those patients, a more invasive procedure called Endoscopic Ultrasound must be used which involves using a flexible endoscope that has a tiny ultrasound probe on the tip that is passed into the stomach through the mouth. This technique allows the probe to be positioned just centimetres away from the pancreas to achieve detailed images and biopsies if necessary. However, even this technique did not provide precise results, causing patients to have to undergo repeat procedures and lose precious time.

But thanks to our supporters, a Specialised Ultrasound Processor has been purchased that can analyse the hardness of tissue in the body and therefore detect tumours that could not otherwise be shown on 2D scans. It increases accuracy of results despite severe inflammation and significantly reduces the need for repeat tests leading to quicker diagnosis and an earlier start with treatment.

This life-saving equipment is now being used and will benefit around 800 patients a year.