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Many people are available to help you and your family. There are specialist lung and mesothelioma cancer nurses in most large cancer treatment hospitals.
They can answer your questions about mesothelioma and its treatments, and direct you to local support services.
Mesothelioma UK| can give you details of local specialist nurses and support groups for people affected by mesothelioma. Asbestos support groups also offer help and support. You can find details of these support groups under resources and organisations|.
Different people can offer support in the community. District nurses work closely with GPs and make regular visits to patients and their families at home, if needed.
In many areas of the country there are also specialist nurses called palliative care nurses|. They can offer you support from when you’re diagnosed with cancer. Palliative care nurses are sometimes referred to as Macmillan nurses. However many Macmillan professionals are nurses who have specialist knowledge in a particular type of cancer. You may see them when you’re at a clinic or in hospital.
Palliative care nurses can also visit you at home and support you and your family. They’re experienced in assessing and treating your symptoms. Some palliative care nurses are linked to the local hospice. Your GP can usually arrange for you to be seen by a specialist nurse at home.
Marie Curie nurses| help to care for people who are no longer having active treatment and want to stay in their own homes. They provide nursing care during the day and, more usually, overnight. The district nurse usually decides whether to request a Marie Curie nurse.
The hospital social worker is also often able to help in many ways, such as giving information about social services and other benefits you may be able to claim while you are ill. For example, you may be entitled to meals-on-wheels, a home help or hospital fares. The social worker may also be able to help arrange childcare during and after treatment and, if necessary, help with the cost of childminders.
Some people need more than advice and support. You may find that the impact of cancer leads to depression| and feelings of helplessness and anxiety|. There is specialist help available to help you cope with these emotions. Often it’s easier to talk to someone who is not directly involved with your illness.
You can ask your hospital consultant or GP to refer you to a doctor or counsellor who is an expert in the emotional problems of people with cancer and their relatives.
Our cancer support specialists| can tell you more about counselling and can let you know about services in your area. You can also contact the Cancer Counselling Trust|.
Some hospitals have their own emotional support services with specially trained staff. Nurses on the ward may have training in counselling and can also give advice about practical problems. Some people find great comfort in religion at this time and it may help them to talk to a local minister, hospital chaplain or other spiritual or religious adviser.
Content last reviewed: 1 May 2010
Next planned review: 2013
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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