What RadCan is about…

RadCan was set up to raise awareness of the need for a local radiotherapy facility in Basingstoke, and to raise money in the hope of providing one.

With latest Cancer Research figures showing nearly 310,000 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2008 – that’s around 504 cases for every 100,000 people – the chances are that each of us will either be affected by cancer or know someone who is.

Basingstoke hospital already offers specialist cancer treatment to patients, and we are extremely fortunate to have such wonderful services locally, but it currently lacks the facility to provide radiotherapy – so if you live in the newly-formed Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area, which serves the people of Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester, and are unfortunate enough to need it then you have to travel to Southampton or Guildford.  This can mean daily journeys for periods of up to six weeks at a time, and patients often have to make the daily return journey hot on the heels of surgery and chemotherapy, at a point in time when they are at their lowest and most vulnerable – last year more than 300 such patients travelled to Southampton for treatment.Many of those diagnosed need radiotherapy as part of their treatment, which involves using high energy x-rays and similar rays such as electrons, which can be used to cure some cancers, to reduce the chance of recurrence, or for symptom relief. It works by destroying cancer cells in the area that’s treated.

However, this situation is all set to change!  In February 2012 it was announced that a new state of the art educational cancer treatment centre is to be built somewhere in the newly-formed Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust area (although no site has been decided on, it has been established that there is space around the hospital at Basingstoke), which will include a much needed radiotherapy facility as well as offering chemotherapy, palliative care, core therapies and complimentary therapies to patients.

The centre is estimated to cost in the region of £16m to build and equip, with public support required to help raise half the amount.  A competition has been launched to design the new centre and a shortlist of architects should be available by September 2012, when the Trust’s fundraising drive will be launched  It is hoped that the winning design can be chosen early in 2013, with a view to opening the new centre in 2015 or 2016.  So RadCan pledges to do all it can to raise £1 million to help this wonderful dream become a reality.

If you’d like to learn more about the role that radiotherapy plays in the treatment of cancer you may find the following links useful:

How RadCan came to be…

RadCan is a registered charity, number 1140906. It began in 2009 as the dream of someone who knew all too well the trials involved in making those daily journeys to Southampton – here’s to the day it will end with a new state-of-the-art facility in Basingstoke for the benefit of all those in our area who desperately need it.

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