Newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients at the Royal Free London are being invited to join zoom sessions with clinicians and fellow patients so they can share experiences and prepare for treatment together.

The sessions are led by the radiotherapy review specialist team and are being run each week in conjunction with Maggie’s, a charity providing free cancer support and information, in their centre based at the Royal Free Hospital. 

Previously patients were contacted individually by phone to run through what to expect and answer their queries, but the new on screen sessions enable staff to provide additional visual information and give patients the opportunity to build a rapport with others at a similar point in their treatment pathway and listen to other people’s questions about the potential side effects and how these might be managed.

James Barber, radiotherapy pre-treatment superintendent radiographer, said: “Going forwards we intend to move to a blended information session, with patients who choose to do so attending the session in person at the Maggie’s Centre, and patients who would prefer to dial in from home attending the same session virtually.

“We have already had a lot of positive feedback from patients who say it helps them to know there are others going through exactly the same thing as them and that makes it less daunting and easier to ask questions.   In addition, holding sessions jointly like this saves clinical time and this will increase as more prostate patients resume their treatment pathways.”

The next step is to open up similar sessions to additional groups of patients, with plans to begin similar group information sessions for breast cancer patients in the near future.

Pic L-R:  left to right are Jo Lelengboto, senior therapy radiographer, Frida Hazara, team lead therapy radiographer, Robyn Volkers, centre head Maggie's at the Royal Free and Online) and Leah Melabianaki, radiotherapy review specialist radiographer.