18 July 2016
Women who have recovered from breast cancer are being offered the chance to attend cancer survivor courses at Chase Farm Hospital.
Those enrolled on the ‘moving forward’ course can pick up tips and get advice on a range of topics, including managing stress, diet and lymphedema (swelling of the arm following surgery) as well as looking out for signs and symptoms of the cancer recurring.
The charity Breast Cancer Care helps run the ‘moving forward’ course, which involves four weekly sessions and is currently being run three times a year.
Clinical nurse specialist Dawn Morse said: “These sessions are about enabling patients to support themselves. Patients always have a lot of anxiety and knowing that what they are feeling is normal takes a lot of that anxiety away.
“It’s a way of helping patients see that life doesn’t stop when you have cancer – that’s why we’ve called the sessions ‘moving forward’. Knowing about the signs and symptoms of cancer recurring is really crucial because it’s the ladies themselves who will pick it up and it’s about offering them reassurance.”
The sessions are held on Thursdays from 2-5pm and around 10 people attend each session.
Dawn said: “We have a psychologist there, a physio, a dietician, we give advice about the menopause, which can be brought on by cancer treatment – so we are giving out lots of valuable information.
“We have patients of all ages – patients in their late 20s to some who are in their 80s. We’ve had loads of positive feedback, so we know that the sessions are really valued by those who attend.”
The course is for women who have had primary breast cancer and have finished their initial course of treatment.
Patients are referred to the course by their breast cancer nurse – please ask your nurse if you would like to attend.
Image: Clinical nurse specialists Dawn Morse and May Estiva.
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