Macmillan improves the lives of people affected by cancer locally. We provide practical, medical, emotional and financial support and push for better cancer care. Cancer affects us all. We can all help. We are Macmillan in Staffordshire.
Focus On lung cancer clinical nurse specialist, Monica Hugh
November marks Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Macmillan Lung Clinical Nurse Specialist, Monica Hugh, who works at Queen’s Hospital in Burton-on-Trent, is encouraging residents across the county to get behind the initiative and educate themselves on the signs and symptoms of lung cancer.
Symptoms may include any of the following, advises Monica:
a continuing cough, or change in a long-standing cough
a chest infection that doesn’t get better
becoming breathless and wheezing
coughing up blood-stained phlegm (sputum)
chest or shoulder pain
a hoarse voice
a dull ache or a sharp pain when you cough or take a deep breath
loss of appetite and loss of weight
feeling extremely tired (fatigue) and lethargy
the ends of the fingers becoming larger or looking more rounded (clubbing)
swelling of the lymph nodes (glands) in the neck area.
It is worth noting that if you have any of these symptoms for more than three weeks, it’s important to have them checked by your GP but all of these symptoms may also be caused by illnesses other than cancer.
Often, people want to know if they give up smoking, is it possible for their lungs to recover. Monica explains: 'It depends on how long they have smoked for and how many cigarettes they have smoked. Quitting smoking can have many benefits for patients following a diagnosis of lung cancer in regard to recovery from surgery and tolerance of other anti-cancer treatments and we do offer services for patients to help them give up smoking.'
Monica’s role at Macmillan Cancer Support involves supporting lung cancer patients and their families throughout their diagnosis. Monica says: 'We meet patients pre-diagnosis when they attend the urgent cancer referral clinic and continue to support them through diagnosis and treatment. We also see patients who are newly diagnosed as the result of an emergency hospital admission as up to 30 per cent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed through this route. We have an open access service where patients can contact us with any concerns and we actively contact them to make sure they have understood information given and to ascertain any concerns they may have. In addition to our work with outpatients we also see current patients who are admitted to hospital with problems related to their lung cancer and continue to support them.'
Monica and the team also work closely with a lot of other services such as the Macmillan therapies team, made up of occupational therapists, physiotherapists and palliative care teams in the hospital and community.
Monica adds: 'The best part of the role is feeling that we can make some difference to patients and their families going through one of the most stressful times of their lives. Unfortunately, we cannot change what is happening to them but we can ensure that they have access to all the appropriate care and support to relieve some of the distress associated with a diagnosis of lung cancer. The patients and families all recognise Macmillan Cancer Support and seem to feel reassured that they will have access to support and other services to assist them.'
If you’re affected by cancer, you may know it can feel like a lonely and worrying time. It’s important to know that there is support there for you. If you have any questions about cancer, visit: www.macmillan.org.uk or call 0808 808 00 00. We’re here to talk to you.
How to reach us
For fundraising support and information you can contact the Fundraising Support Team.
Opening hours Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Call 0300 1000 200
Note 0300 numbers are charged at the same rate as 01 and 02 numbers, including calling from mobiles.
How to donate to Macmillan
Pay in online.
Send a cheque to the Freepost address:
Macmillan Cancer Support
87-90 Albert Embankment
Pay directly into the bank. Contact the Fundraising Support Team for how to do this and more information on how to donate to Macmillan.
There are currently no events listed. Please contact your local fundraising office.
Our organisation was started by a volunteer nearly one hundred years ago, and today they’re still at the very heart of everything we do. Join us and together we can make a difference.
Find the latest volunteering opportunities near to you on our volunteer pages.
Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care Programme
The Transforming Cancer and End of Life Care Programme is a pioneering iniative to transform the way people with cancer or those at the end of their life are cared for and supported in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.
This is the first programme of its scale for cancer and end of life care and we are proud that it has been announced as one of 14 national NHS pioneer sites for integrated care in England. You can learn more about the Transforming Cancer and End of Life Programme here.
More about Macmillan in Staffordshire
Macmillan works with the NHS and other health and social care partners to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.
Being diagnosed with cancer can bring financial difficulties. People may have to give up work or face increased fuel bills or travel costs. Macmillan can help to cover expenses or to finance breaks for patients and their families.
We have helped hundreds of Staffordshire people to manage the costs that cancer can bring. In 2010 we gave £126,809 to 386 beneficiaries in Staffordshire. This helped:
168 people with the cost of fuel to keep warm
25 people with the cost of a stair lift
72 people with the cost of travel to get to their treatment
160 people with the cost of clothes
76 people with the cost of new beds and bedding.
It’s these practical things that Macmillan understands. We talk with people affected by cancer and find out what is important to them.
Macmillan is campaigning for a better deal for people in Staffordshire affected by cancer. We want everyone with cancer to receive the same level of care, regardless of who they are and where they live. Together we can challenge inequalities, push for change and make sure that cancer stays a priority for the government.
How you can help us raise money in Staffordshire
By making a donation: Every donation, big or small, makes an essential difference to people living with cancer.
By organising an event: Why not climb Mount Snowdon? Bike from Lands End to John O'Groats? Tackle The Three Peaks challenge? Run in the many local marathons?... These are just some of the events that supporters have done this year for Macmillan in Staffordshire. We will help with any events you might like to plan.
By joining a Macmillan event: Whether it's the World's Biggest Coffee Morning, the London Marathon, or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, there is a Macmillan event for you and we'll support you all the way.
Find out more and what events you can get involved in at www.macmillan.org.uk/fundrasing
Campaigns - There's strength in numbers
Help us campaign for a better deal for people living with cancer. Join our E-campaigner network. You will be able to take action online and receive the latest campaign news by email.
‘It was such a struggle paying for prescriptions that I’d stay awake at night crying. The success of Macmillan’s campaign will help thousands like me. I’m thankful I was able to play a part in making change happen.’
Amanda, 45, Surrey
Find out more and sign up now at www.macmillan.org.uk/campaigns