New €3m breast cancer unit launched at University Hospital Limerick


Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh

New €3m breast cancer unit launched at University Hospital Limerick

Consultant surgeon, Anne Merrigan, breast cancer survivor, Helen Leo, CEO Colette Cowan Picture: Press 22

UNIVERSITY Hospital Limerick has officially opened its new  €3m unit for breast cancer patients, in the Leben complex.

Launched last week at UHL, the unit — the first of its kind in the Mid-West — received “generous” funding support from the JP McManus Invitational ProAm, the HSE, the Mid-Western Hospitals Development Trust, the National Cancer Control Programme, and donations from patients, their families and friends through fundraisers.

UL Hospitals Group CEO, Colette Cowan welcomed the launch of the facility.

“This building allows for greater privacy and comfort; with the consultations, diagnostic investigations, prosthetic fitting rooms and minor surgical procedures all under one roof in a bright and welcoming that is truly patient-centred.

“It has been a long road for patients and staff but it is a proud moment for UL Hospitals and our charitable partners to be able to say that we have achieved our ambition,” she said. 

According to consultant breast surgeon, Shona Tormey, the new unit at UHL “offers all aspects of breast and breast cancer care including triple assessment, breast reconstruction and oncoplastic surgery, and dedicated family history clinics. Breast cancer in UHL includes a dedicated breast medical oncology unit and radiotherapy delivered in the UHL medical oncology unit and the Mater Private radiotherapy on site.”

One of the driving forces for the launch of the facility was the increase in attendances at the hospital. In 2005, there were 3,073 new and return attendances, which doubled in 2015 to 6,726.

The new development includes consultation rooms, a multidisciplinary team conference room, a prosthesis fitting room, a family room, administrative offices and a quiet room where women can retire for cancer consultations and information.

The unit also includes “cutting-edge” diagnostics, with two ultrasound and two mammography suites, including the first use in a public hospital in Ireland of 3D mammography.