Cancer Society gives €100,000 to hospital
The Irish Cancer Society has donated €100,000 to Wexford General Hospital to help it provide bowel cancer detection services.
The funding came from a large private bequest made to the Society.
It will be used to buy equipment for use in colorectal screening services in the hospital as part of the national bowel cancer screening programme.
BowelScreen is a Government-funded service delivered by the Natonal Screening Service which began offering free bowel cancer screening in 2012 to people aged 60 to 69.
It is eventually planned to extend the programme to people aged from 55 to 74.
The Irish Cancer Society donation will help Wexford General Hospital meet the increased demand for colonscopies arising from the BowelScreen programme.
Donal Buggy, head of services at the Irish Cancer Society said the funding is part of a €1 million donation which it has given to hospitals around Ireland.
'We committed to making this contribution towards the bowel cancer screening programme in 2009, to ensure that this vital service was rolled out at a time when Government was cutting spending,' he said.
'Bowel cancer screening has the potential to save lives by detecting cancers at an early and treatable stage and we believe that is essential that it is available to all who need it,' said Mr. Buggy.
Consultant surgeon Ken Mealy who is the clinical lead of endoscopy services in Wexford said the hospital was delighted to receive the donation.
'We very much appreciate this support for a major component of our work, undertaking diagnostic testing for colorectal cancer,' he said.
Wexford General Hospital has already started colorectal screening with the main objective being the detection of pre-cancerous adenomas in the lining of the bowel.
Bowel cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Ireland.
Every year over 2,000 people in Ireland are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 900 people die from it.
One of the reasons for this is that more than half of people with bowel cancer are diagnosed in the later stages of the disease which means that they require more complex treatment and have a poorer chance of survival.
But the cancer i is treatable if caught in time and screening helps detect it at an early stage.