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Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life changing event and you and your family may experience a wide range of emotions and have a lot of questions and concerns throughout your cancer journey.

Your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is available to provide ongoing support from the initial investigations leading to diagnosis, throughout your treatment and on to living with and beyond cancer.

They will provide you with any necessary information, answer any questions and provide emotional support and guidance to you and your family.

 

How is your care planned?

Your care is planned at a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting which is held weekly. The MDT consists of surgeons, medical consultants, radiologists, histopathologists, oncologists and clinical nurse specialists. The investigations that have been performed are discussed and a treatment plan is agreed by the team.

Treatment may involve one of the following; surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy and hormone therapy or a combination.

You will have the opportunity to meet with your doctor and CNS to discuss your treatment plan at an outpatient clinic appointment where specific information will be given to you, including the possible side effects of the treatment and support services available to you.

We encourage patients to attend clinic appointments with a family member or friend for additional support.

 

Your Cancer Pathway

At Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals we provide a patient-centred approach to your care, helping to support people living with and beyond cancer. We aim to provide a well-coordinated, holistic, personalised approach to your care.

The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative’s (NCSI) aim is to ‘ensure that those living with and beyond cancer get the care and support they need to lead as healthy and active life as possible for as long as possible’.

To help improve your cancer experience, the NCSI have developed The Recovery Package, which has been introduced and supported by Macmillan. The Recovery package consists of the following components and will be discussed with you by your CNS.

  • A Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) will be completed at key points along your cancer pathway. You will have this assessment with your CNS either face to face or by phone. The HNA will address any physical, practical, family / relationship and emotional concerns you may have. Following the HNA a care plan will be discussed with you, providing support and information, possible referrals to other agencies such as Macmillan.
  • A Cancer Care Review will be completed by your GP or Practice Nurse within 3 months of your cancer diagnosis and will be the start of ongoing conversations between yourself and your GP throughout your cancer pathway.
  • Health and Wellbeing events are held to provide information and support on work and finance, healthy lifestyle and physical activity and to help prepare you for the transition to a supported self-management programme. These events play an important role in moving forward to living with and beyond cancer. A Health and Wellbeing event is held annually at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals as well as other informational events throughout the year.

 

Macmillan Patient Navigators

Macmillan patient navigators offer a single point of contact for all our cancer patients, family members and carers. They are available to answer questions, help with appointments and access local support services as well as provide support throughout your cancer journey.

They work closely with your CNS and if the question or concern is of a clinical nature they will contact your CNS who will return your call.

Contact Number: 01932 726856

 

Macmillan Support and Information

At St Peter’s outpatient department, area 2, there is a Macmillan resource room providing a quiet place to sit, offering many informational booklets for you to browse or take home. Macmillan provides a number of resources which are readily available to you such as:

  • Welfare benefits
  • Understanding your specific cancer
  • Cancer treatments and their side effects
  • Support groups and services

If you need further information, Macmillan can assist you.

Telephone: 0808 808 000

www.macmillan.org.uk

 

Clinical Research

Research is a key aspect of the work of the NHS. It is through research that we provide evidence upon which we base our care and treatments, and improve our treatments.

The NHS constitution states that it is every patient’s right to be able to participate in a research study, should they wish to, and should they meet the requirements of the study.

There are many ongoing cancer clinical research projects at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals, you may be asked to participate in a study by your surgeon or oncologist.

 

Improving Cancer Care and Action Group (ICCAG)

This is an established cancer service action group, consisting of patients, family members, carers and local community members.

They gather experiences of those affected by cancer, to help improve cancer services at Ashford and St Peters Hospitals.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about the group please contact the patient navigators: 01932 726856

 

Local Support Groups

Secondary breast cancer support group is held on the 3rd Monday of each month. The venue alternates between the Fountain Centre at St. Luke’s Cancer Centre, Guildford and Frimley Baptist Church Hall. Please ask your key worker if you would like to attend.

Breast Cancer Now – General Enquiries 0333 20 70300

Support Services – 0345 077 1893

www.breastcancernow.org

Have many forums accessed through their website dedicated to people with secondary breast cancer.