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A large donation from the Wimmera Health Care Group Foundation means more people will be able to avoid major surgery to remove lymph node glands as part of their cancer treatment.

A $50,000 donation from the foundation went to purchasing a Navigator Wireless Gamma Probe System for sentinal node identification. Surgeon Nikki Campbell said this meant people could have a procedure locally that targeted affected lymph nodes, instead of removing all the lymph nodes in the armpit.

“This is obviously a smaller operation than removing all the lymph nodes, so that means less recovery time. Also having the surgery closer to home, loved ones and support networks is so important,” Ms Campbell said.

“Also, when you don’t remove all the lymph nodes there isn’t the same risks of complications such as lymphodema. We are very thankful the foundation has purchased this equipment.”

Foundation chair Graeme Hardman said they were happy to donate the funds for the piece of equipment that will help more people be treated locally and in a less invasive way.

“This is a great investment and is in line with our support of the Wimmera Cancer Centre and it reinforces the foundation’s vision to provide quality healthcare in our region,” Mr Hardman said.

“The new surgical equipment will provide our community with the most up to date treatment for breast cancer and melanoma patients, eliminating some of the need for patients to travel large distances to receive treatment.

“Statistics show one in three people in the broader Wimmera region will be touched by cancer, making it so important we have treatment available in our regional health centre.

“WHCG Foundation has pledged $420,000 over six years to the Wimmera Cancer Centre project and has contributed $210,000 to date.”

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