Wales

Morriston Hospital buys £300k lung cancer scanning equipment

Coloured chest X-ray showing lung cancer Image copyright Spl
Image caption Lung cancer accounts for over a fifth of cancer deaths

Diagnosing people with lung cancer will become faster at Swansea's Morriston Hospital after it spent £299,000 on scanning machines, say health bosses.

One of the new machines in the endoscopy department will be used for the first time next week, says Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

A medical thoracoscope is expected to be in place by the end of the year.

About 200 lung cancer cases are found in the Swansea area a year - it's the cancer that kills most people in Wales.

The health board said the two new specialist machines it has invested in will speed up the diagnosis process for clinicians and help reduce stress and anxiety for patients.

Staff in the endoscopy department have been trained to begin using the Endo Bronchial Ultrasound (Ebus) from next Monday.

Consultant respiratory physician Dr Emrys Evans said the machine will make diagnosis a day case treatment.

He said: "It's a minimally invasive diagnostic test which can not only diagnose cancer but other non-cancer lung diseases such as tuberculosis or sarcoidosis."

"It should reduce the reliance on other hospital departments to obtain diagnosis, which releases them to do other work."

Technology fund

A medical thoracoscope will help doctors diagnose and relieve conditions like fluid on the lung, the health board said.

"The investment will benefit patients from Swansea and Neath Port Talbot, who currently have to travel to Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen or undergo a surgical procedure under general anaesthetic," said a health board official.

"Bridgend residents will continue to go to Cardiff but opportunities to manage all patients within ABM will be looked at."

The health board has allocated £299,000 towards the machines from £1.07m it was awarded from the Welsh Government's Health Technology Fund.

Last week, Public Health Wales said lung cancer continues to kill more people in Wales than any other type of cancer with almost 1,900 dying of the disease in 2012.

The disease accounts for more than a fifth of cancer deaths and Wales' survival rates for many smoking-related cancers remained low compared to the best in Europe.

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