These webpages support a new system being piloted within Worcestershire as part of the new national survivorship initiative currently funded by Macmillan and NHS Improvement. Survivorship is about living beyond cancer with ongoing and improved provision of support and advice. The aim of the new system is to support people in living as normal a life as possible which incorporates the diagnosis/disease but is not ruled by it.
It is important that men who have received potentially curative treatment for prostate cancer are monitored regularly. Rather than attending hospital to see an oncologist or urologist for a brief consultation, people are being offered a different style of monitoring that will provide with appropriate support via a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).
Identifying and meeting your needs
We know that a diagnosis of cancer and receiving treatment affects patients in many different ways and to varying degrees. In order to help us understand specific needs, the CNS will contact people who have opted into the service to complete a full assessment.
Areas covered include:
Practical - finance, housing
Emotional - feeling low, angry or worried
Communication - quality, quantity and clarity of information you receive
Physical - tiredness, appearance etc.
Hence we can provide comprehensive support tailored to individual needs, either from the CNS or from other professionals/groups. The assessment would be repeated at different stages so we can ensure needs are met over many years.
Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) Monitoring
Rather than attending the hospital for PSA testing, patients in the new system will be able to go to their local practice which should be more convenient. The CNS will ensure the test is done and will monitor the results. If PSA results increase by a pre-determined amount (unique to each person), the CNS will contact the patient by phone initially and arrange further investigation as appropriate.
In addition to the input received from the CNS, patients in the new system will be invited to an annual conference. The conference includes a number of talks given by different healthcare professionals on subjects such as: men's health following prostate cancer and managing side effects and new developments in prostate cancer. There will be the chance to ask questions of the different health professionals present, either in a group discussion forum, but also on an individual basis.
Attendees will be able to bring along a relative or friend with them. There will also be an opportunity to access support groups and meet other people who share similar experiences. This, in the past, has proven to be a great source of support for those living with cancer and their families.