Lancashire’s only specialist head and neck robotic surgeon has pedalled hard to help provide the latest surgical equipment to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Miss Naseem Ghazali was one of eight riders to cycle 170 miles from Bridlington, in East Yorkshire, to Blackpool, in aid of The Swallows, a head and neck cancer support charity in the Fylde area.
The Swallows organised the three-day coast-to-coast event, to coincide with World Head and Neck Cancer Day and to raise £25,000, to fund a surgical laser for Blackpool Victoria Hospital, enabling surgeons to perform more precision life-changing surgery for people with head and neck cancer.
So far, the ride has brought in more than £10,000.
The money will also go towards more equipment for the existing robotic system at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Whilst the eight riders ventured on the coast-to-coast journey, members of the public rode a static exercise bike inside The Swallows’ shop in South Shore, Blackpool, to reach a target of 177 miles.
Miss Ghazali, who primarily works at Royal Blackburn Hospital, serving patients across Lancashire and the Fylde area, said: “It is great news the money raised has been ring-fenced for head and neck cancer surgery.
“It will enable me to continue fulfilling our team’s aim of providing head and neck cancer treatments for the people of Lancashire.”
Around 12,000 new cases of head and neck cancers are diagnosed in the UK each year.
While surgery for cancer caught early can be relatively minor, it can also involve more major procedures that require skin grafts and reconstructive surgery after removing the cancer.
Compared with traditional surgery for head and neck cancer, robot-assisted surgery reduces disfigurement, discomfort and pain after the procedure.
It also means the surgeon can make smaller incisions and still get a close-up view of hard-to-reach places because the robot includes a 3D camera.
Andrew Grice, Trustee of The Swallows and Associate Partner at Fylde Wealth Management, said: “As an organisation, The Swallows is dedicated to supporting people with head and neck cancers.
“This bike ride is one way that we are raising awareness and helping to fund the vital new surgical innovations that will improve the outlook for people with these cancers.”
People can still donate to The Swallows’ campaign for a surgical laser by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/swallowsbikeride.