Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Tuesday, 1 October 2019
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and over the coming weeks we will be sharing how Friends of the Cancer Centre is supporting local women when they need it most. In Northern Ireland there are, on average, 1,400 new cases of breast cancer each year and Friends of the Cancer Centre is here to support as many of these people as we possibly can. We are proud to support breast cancer patients from diagnosis through treatment and rehabilitation with our wonderful funded staff who care for hundreds of breast cancer patients each year. Here are just some of the ways your support is making a difference.
Friends of the Cancer Centre’s Breast Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Elaine is the only nurse of her kind in Northern Ireland and she acts as a key worker for people affected by breast cancer. An increasing number of patients with breast cancer are offered chemotherapy or radiotherapy following surgery, and she can offer specialist support to these patients. During the last year, Elaine had over 1,200 interactions with patients, providing support, co-ordinating care across teams and signposting to support services.
Our Physical Activity Coach, Joe, also helps to support breast cancer patients by offering prehabilitation awareness sessions and exercise programmes to prepare patients for their surgery or treatment. Joe can provide both face to face sessions and telephone follow up with patients, ensuring that they are as physically fit as they can be prior to treatment. Joe can help patients reduce their cancer related fatigue during and after treatment, and can also help to promote resilience.
The charity also funds several staff posts within the NI Cancer Trials Network, supporting any breast cancer patients who are taking part in a clinical trial to investigate new treatment options. There are currently nine breast cancer clinical trials actively recruiting and patients are almost guaranteed to have contact with Friends of the Cancer Centre’s funded staff at some point during their trial. The charity’s involvement with the cancer trials team also includes funded posts for three clinical research radiographers. Lynn, Grace & Fiona act as the first line of contact for patients, ensuring safe and accurate care, and co-ordinating the radiotherapy trials across multidisciplinary teams. They are currently supporting patients on two active breast cancer radiotherapy trials, POSNOC and PRIMETIME, investigating the benefits of radiotherapy post-surgery and what type of radiotherapy is most effective.
The range of care which the charity can provide for breast cancer patients is only possible thanks to your generous support.