A charity has funded new equipment which could benefit up to 2,500 cervical cancer patients in the north-east every year.
Football legend Willie Henderson donated two Zedscan diagnostic devices to the colonoscopy unit at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary (ARI) yesterday.
The former Rangers player raised the funds on behalf of the Michelle Henderson Cervical Cancer Trust, a charity set up by his daughter after she was diagnosed with the disease in 2010 before tragically passing away two years later on her 28th birthday.
Mr Henderson said he chose ARI after a meeting with Dons chairman Stewart Milne about an unrelated matter which led him to ask Mr Milne what hospitals were based up in the north-east.
He said: “Eventually I got in touch with people in ARI and explained I was representing Michelle’s Trust.
“They decided what would help in the gynaecology department so Michelle’s Trust has purchased this equipment.”
Mr Henderson also hopes to raise awareness of the importance of booking a smear test.
He said: “Women are not going in the numbers that they should be going, they’ve always got an excuse, various excuses, but the big one is embarrassment and I keep telling them embarrassment won’t kill them, cervical cancer can and will.”
Professor Maggie Cruickshank from NHS Grampian said the “completely new technology” will benefit women across the north-east.
She added: “For women who have abnormalities and need treatment, we’re more likely to pick them up at an earlier stage.
“But for women where they’re going to get the all clear we can get that information to them much sooner and save them having to travel back and forth to the clinic in Aberdeen.
“It’s a big concern to us that more than 80% of women used to attend for smears and now it’s down to about 71%.”