Getting the lowdown on breast radiotherapy

2 March 2022

New weekly information sessions, “Getting Started with Breast Radiotherapy”, have begun, following the success of the “Getting Started with Prostate Radiotherapy” sessions last year.

The sessions are being offered to all Royal Free Hospital patients referred for curative breast radiotherapy. Sessions are held face to face at the Maggie’s centre in a room risk-assessed to be able to safely accommodate a number of patients while adhering to COVID safety measures. Each patient is permitted to bring one friend or family member with them.

The sessions are delivered jointly by the Royal Free London’s radiotherapy review specialist team and the Maggie’s team (both pictured) providing information on what to expect at all points of a patient’s radiotherapy journey, what side effects they can expect and how best to manage them and what other support services are available to them from the trust and the Maggie’s service. The session also provides information on what to do to prepare for radiotherapy, including deep inspiration breath hold (DIBH), videos and other useful tips from staff members.

The new sessions have been very well attended, with the majority of breast patients electing to attend. Patient feedback on how we can continuously improve the sessions is being collated via an online form.

Leah Melabianaki, radiotherapy review specialist, said: “We have received a really positive response from attendees who have found the sessions informative, helping to allay some of their treatment-related anxieties. Hosting the sessions at Maggie’s alongside their Cancer Support Specialists allows patients and their loved ones to share their experiences of navigating a cancer diagnosis in a relaxed and supportive environment.