Patients at the Royal Free Hospital were given advice and guidance about how to ‘live well with cancer’ during an event last week.

The ‘Living well with cancer’ event the first of its kind at the Royal Free Hospital, was organised by Kerry Guile, consultant lead cancer nurse and Jane Lewis, Macmillan cancer information officer.

Kerry said: “The aim of the day is to empower patients and enable them to live well with cancer which is now considered a long term condition.”

Many different organisations and groups took part in the event including a strong presence from Macmillan Cancer Support, who have information and support centres based across the trust.

Also on hand were Keith Hunt, complementary therapies co-ordinator and Caroline Thomas, a massage therapist who are part of the Royal Free Charity.

Keith said: “We’ve already done 35,000 massages this year alone. Cancer patients take priority and we see people early in the morning, pre-op, people who are having radiotherapy and also, if asked, will provide massages to end of life patients.”

Rachel Miller, volunteer services co-ordinator from the charity Macmillan Cancer Support said: “We want to show all the different services that are available for people with cancer, from support accessing welfare to palliative care.”

Claire Featherstone runs the online shop Chemo Headwear, which sells headscarves and turbans, and had brought her stall to the event.

She said: “I used to make wedding dresses and work for private clients, as well as famous fashion brands but now I just do this. It just feels more worthwhile and I like giving something back. I always use really lovely breathable fabrics and make sure there are lots of different styles and sizes. I love meeting people and cheering them up.” 

(Main image: L-R Macmillan Cancer Support staff with Jane Lewis, the trust Macmillan Cancer Information officer)