Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Treatment choices can be bewildering

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Mr Charles Carter, Consultant Urologist at Royal Bournemouth and Poole Hospitals,  said that while most men like to have a choice of treatments for prostate cancer ‘after all it’s their body’, some find the choices ‘bewildering’.  He described how a multidisciplinary team will discuss each case to identify all the options of benefit.  Following the consultation where a ‘steer’ can be given the patient can discuss his own situation further with the nurse specialist, review their clinic letter and weigh up the printed information from the booklets provided.  Mr Carter noted however that many decisions are affected by people’s knowledge of the outcomes that their friends have had from various courses of action.

Graham Willetts is pictured with Sue Higgins Director of Nursing at Lewis-Manning.

Graham Willetts is pictured with Sue Higgins Director of Nursing at Lewis-Manning.

Mr Carter was speaking as part of the Autumn series of educational seminars at Lewis-Manning Hospice in Poole.  Graham Willetts, Chair of Dorset Cancer Champions Board, said afterwards that the talk illustrated how the advocacy challenge is particularly acute with prostate cancer in relation to helping people make the right choices about screening, surveillance and treatment. Lewis-Manning Hospice offers free specialist palliative nursing care to local people living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses in a brand new facility with stunning views of Poole Harbour. One aspect of the organisation’s stated mission is ‘Raising awareness of what living with a life-limiting illness means, through education and provision of information to the patient, their carers and the community as a whole.’ The seminars are aimed at healthcare professionals, social workers, students and those interested in the care of those with long term life-limiting illnesses and the survivorship agenda.

Kathleen Gillett, Dorset Cancer Advocacy

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