A new patient information video outlining what a person can expect from radiotherapy treatment has been launched by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust’s radiotherapy department at the Cancer Centre with the support of Friends of the Cancer Centre.
Over 250 people attend the Cancer Centre for radiotherapy treatment every day and the video has been created as a tool for these patients before they start their radiotherapy treatment to help break down some of the fear, uncertainty and misunderstanding that can often surround this form of cancer treatment. As well as explaining what exactly radiotherapy is, the video follows a patient from their arrival at the Cancer Centre, through the treatment planning process and shows what can be expected from the treatment itself. Useful information on parking passes, support services and other facilities in the hospital are also covered to ensure that the patient has all information available before their first appointment.
Featuring staff from all areas within the radiotherapy department, the video was developed by the Information and Support Radiographer, Lindsey Anderson, who said:
“Radiotherapy can be a really difficult time for patients as it’s a side of cancer treatment that is less well known, which can often lead to misunderstanding and fear for many patients. As a team we try to alleviate this through our monthly Information and Support Evenings, where patients, their relatives and friends can come to the Cancer Centre to meet the team and see what is involved at any point in their radiotherapy journey. These evenings are hugely beneficial to those who attend and are an effective way of alleviating some of the fear and anxiety that many patients experience, as well as helping those who support them outside the hospital to feel more a part of their experience.
“The video was developed as an extension of this so that all patients can access this information from anywhere and at any time. We hope that it will be a really useful tool for the wider family circle and help everyone impacted by a patient’s radiotherapy treatment to understand the process and see it as a very positive step in the patient journey.”
The video was funded by Friends of the Cancer Centre, the charity based at the heart of the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital. Friends of the Cancer Centre is one of Northern Ireland’s leading cancer charities and it funds life-saving and life-changing projects within the Cancer Centre in the areas of clinical care, patient comfort and care, and research. In the last year alone it has invested £1.4 million into the Cancer Centre through projects which make a real and meaningful difference to the lives of thousands of patients locally.
Colleen Shaw, Chief Executive of Friends of the Cancer Centre, said:
“We were delighted to be able to support this new radiotherapy information video and we believe it will make a real difference to patients. Cancer treatment can be frightening and the fear of the unknown and what treatment will be like can cause much stress and anxiety at an already difficult time. We hope that by providing patients with a positive and accurate source of information we will be able to help reduce the anxiety and answer many of the questions that people might have.”