Frimley Park Hospital kicked off its biggest fundraising campaign ever last October to create a centre especially for diagnosing and treating breast cancer and related conditions, along with state-of-the-art three-dimensional imaging equipment.

The Trust that runs the hospital has agreed to fund half of the total £1.5m cost of the project.

The hospital aims to provide an environment and level of diagnostic technology to match the high standard of care given by staff.

Fundraising manager Sally McLaren said: “The breast care team and Frimley Park Hospital Charity want to provide the best possible care for local patients.

“Until now the team has been based in a general outpatients department at the hospital.

“Our excellent breast specialists are very keen to give the 6,000 patients they see each year greater personal care in a more compassionate environment offering greater privacy.

“3D mammography is set to become the gold-standard in breast imaging technology.

“The clarity of the images will help the breast care team to diagnose cancer and other abnormalities at an earlier stage, giving patients a greater chance of successful treatment and a better quality of life.”

The money raised by the appeal will fund the 3D mammography machine as well as other diagnostic and surgical equipment. Studies have shown that 3D imaging can diagnose up to 40% more tumours than conventional mammograms and is especially good at detecting cancer earlier in denser tissue.

Sally added: “We have been really pleased with how the appeal has been going so far. We’ve already had more than £60,000 donated, but more importantly at this stage has been the overwhelming display of support shown by the community and staff.

“For example no fewer that five local Waitrose stores have chosen the appeal for their Community Matters donation scheme and we’ve had a huge response from community groups wanting to find out how they can help. For a three year appeal such as this, that kind of ongoing support will be essential if we are to reach our target.”

At a launch event last October almost 100 invited guests, including hospital supporters, dignitaries and community representatives, heard about the hospital’s vision for a dedicated breast unit offering patients a better experience and more accurate diagnosis for breast cancer and other conditions.

Breast consultants Raouf Daoud, Fiona Hearn, Isabella Karat and Ian Laidlaw discussed how the new equipment would offer better diagnosis in a dedicated unit with a more suitable and compassionate environment.

They also heard from former patients Heather Acheson and Heidi Kilgariff, who explained through their own experiences what the new service would mean to the thousands of suspected new breast cancer patients coming to Frimley Park every year.

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