Kempsey now has access to new state-of-the-art technology to help locals diagnosed with breast cancer thanks to donations from the community.
A Sozo machine, costing $20,000, has been gifted to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute's (MNCCI) breast cancer service and will be used to detect lymphoedema in cancer patients at Kempsey District Hospital.
MNCCI's McGrath Breast Care Nurse Kelly Scott-McGrath said the new device would produce better outcomes for patients, and thanked the donors who made it possible.
North Coast Trucking Social Club gifted $10,000 towards the device with the Lawrence family of Kempsey providing a further $4360 and Kempsey West Rotary Club providing $5170.45 in a partnership facilitated by Kempsey's Lilli Pilli Ladies.
The Sozo will help in the early detection of lymphoedema, a painful tissue swelling condition, in some people who have undergone breast cancer surgery.
"Early detection means patients can be referred to a specialist lymphoedema therapist sooner, minimising the often debilitating effects of untreated lymphoedema, including infection and, in some cases, hospitalisation," Ms Scott-McGrath said.
"This wonderful donation means people in the Kempsey Macleay area no longer have to travel to Port Macquarie for this remarkably simple diagnostic test.
"It's a great outcome for our patients and reflects the generosity, kindness and compassion of our donors who have done something truly amazing for local breast cancer patients."
The machine will also assist community nurses who manage patients with chronic skin ulcers and oedema, another condition caused by build-up of fluid in the body. Early detection reduces nursing interventions, and the amount of time patients take to heal.
The Lawrence family held a community fundraiser, in memory of their mum Karen Lawrence, to support the MNCCI Sozo initiative, as well as Bowel Cancer Australia.
North Coast Trucking Social Club's donation was made possible thanks to its highly successful Kempsey Truck Show.