"Working in Partnership to support the Commissioning
 and Delivery of High Quality Cancer Care in Essex"
NHS Essex Cancer Network

Living with Cancer

Thanks to improvement in treatments many people are now being cured of cancer, or living for longer after a cancer diagnosis even if they cannot be cured. However, many people are living with side effects of treatment, or find it difficult to get back to a normal routine. The effects may be emotional or physical, and can affect a wider circle of family and friends. Some of these effects will be short lived, while others may last a long time - others may occur some time after treatment.

The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) aims to help support people living with and beyond cancer by improving support services which will enable people to access more infomation and support to help cope with consequences of treatment, work and finance, and general health and well-being. The main work from the NCSI is outlined below.

Holistic Assessment

Holistic assessment looks at emotional, physical and spiritual needs and allows the person assessing (usually a cancer nurse specialist) to refer on to appropriate support services when required. This should be carried out at diagnosis, during treatment and at the end of treatment.

Health and Wellbeing

It is important to ensure general health and wellbeing after a cancer diagnosis, and information should be provided on health diet, exercise, side effects of treatment and what to do about them, should be available as well as signposting to local services which can help support you to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

Consequences of Treatment

Consequences of cancer or its treatment can be defined as symptoms and/or changes in function which develop following treatment for cancer. This can be in many forms, for example bowel problems after radiotherapy, lymphoedema, fatigue or osteoporosis, or may  affect relationships or the ability to work or take part in activities. There is a lot of research taking plkace into such side effects and the best way to deal with them, and the Essex Cancer Network are working to ensure services are avaiable to help support people with these issues.

Active and Advanced Disease

This includes issues about keeping well, accessing other support services and re-entering the healthcare system – for example at a time of recurrence and the progression of illness to end of life. Rehabilitation and support will be offered to help with quality of life, addressing ‘coping’ and ‘wellness’ in a patient-centred way, offering patients control, facilitated by professionals.

Work and Finance

Many people face financial difficulties due to a cancer diagnosis, either as a direct result of loss of income or from costs incurred during treatment. There is help available from local Macmillan Benefits Services or the Citizens Advice Bureau, who can offer advice on a range of benefits and assist with returning to work. There is also information available for employers to facilitate a person to return to work.

Children and Young People

The overall objective is to improve the provision of care and support for children and young people surviving cancer; and to importantly improve the overall support to parents and carers.  This also involves ensuring a smooth transition from children's services to adult services, and ensures continuation of care.

Physical Activity

The is growing evidence about the importance of exercise for people after a cancer diagnosis, to help with side effects of treatment, such as fatigue and osteoporosis, and in some cases to prevent the cancer from recurring. The Essex Cancer Network are engaging with community partners to ensure that everyone has access to supervised exercise groups, facilitated by professionals with experience of working with people with cancer.

Further Information

More information about living with and beyond cancer can be found on the Macmillan Cancer Support Website, or on NHS Choices.

Last updated: 15/04/2012

You are here:

Explore The Network

© Essex Cancer Network, 2011  |  Swift House, Hedgerows Business Park, Colchester Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 5PF  |  Tel. 01245 397626

Powered by Sitekit CMS