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 Worcestershire.
'Focus On' Macmillan in Worcestershire
April is bowel cancer awareness month. Macmillan Cancer Support are raising awareness about the signs and symptoms to look out for and the risks to avoid in the fight against bowel cancer.
Sandra Chambers is a Colorectal Clinical Nurse Specialist in Worcestershire, she is based at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and also attends clinics in Bromsgrove and Kidderminster.
Sandra and her colleagues, Pat and Cassie, support patients who are having investigations relating to colorectal disease and cancers. They provides support in a variety of ways from giving information about treatment options, support with pre and post-operative care, helping patients to manage symptoms and side effects and also providing emotional support.
Sandra says, ‘Each patient I work with is affected differently by their cancer diagnosis so it’s really important to me to get to know them individually and understand each person’s needs and how I can best support them. I work really closely with the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre’s across the three hospitals, they are extremely supportive for patients and also myself and my colleagues. I am a great believer in empowering patients with information about their health and support available.’
The most common symptoms of bowel cancer include blood in your stools or bleeding from your rectum, a persistent change to your normal bowel habits, such as diarrhoea, constipation or passing stools more frequently than usual, abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss. These can also be caused by conditions other than bowel cancer but anyone exhibiting these symptoms is advised to visit their GP.
Sandra, says, ‘It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, and although the cause is unknown there are certain factors that may increase your risk, which it helps to be aware of as well. It is more common in those over the age of 50 and those with a close family member who has been diagnosed with the disease. Poor diet, lack of exercise, high alcohol intake and smoking also all increase risk but of course cancer can affect anyone so if you have concerns you should visit your doctor as early as possible.’
Sandra loves being able to help people and feels the additional support Macmillan offer allows her to be able to provide patients with well rounded care. She says, ‘I know how stressful and anxious cancer can make people and how this can have a negative impact on their recovery, so the knowledge that Macmillan has every possible worry covered with their extensive service provision in Worcestershire and their boundless energy really does make all the difference. Seeing the positive impact Macmillan colleagues have on my patients is priceless and an incredible addition to the support network I am is able to offer each patient.’
If you have questions about bowel cancer, or are worried about your symptoms, call Macmillan on 0800 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk
Macmillan would like to thank the many volunteers who dedicate their time to support people affected by cancer.
How to reach us
For fundraising support and information you can contact the Fundraising Support Team.
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Call 0300 1000 200
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Pay in online.
Send a cheque to the Freepost address:
Macmillan Cancer Support
87-90 Albert Embankment
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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.
More about Macmillan in Worcestershire
Macmillan Cancer Support offers a wide range of clinical and well being support services for people affected by cancer in Worcestershire. These services are made possible by the donations raised by our dedicated supporters.
Our team of Macmillan health professionals in Worcestershire are helping people living with cancer in our hospitals and local communities.
Just a few of the cancer specialism’s we offer are:
Gynaecology, Urology, Occupational Therapy, Dietitian, Speech and Language Therapy, Chemotherapy, Dermatology, Lymphoedema, Upper Gastro-Intestinal and Palliative Care
Community Nurse Teams operate across the area, based in Bromsgrove, Evesham, Kidderminster and Malvern, supporting people affected by cancer in their homes.
In addition to the medical support we offer, Worcestershire patients benefit from the support of Macmillan's emotional and financial support services.
These include the telephone support line, which is free to call and can help with general information and advice about cancer, on 0808 808 0000, offering specialist advice about benefits and youth advice for children and young people affected by cancer.
We can signpost to the following information and well being services based within the county;
Cancer Information and Support Centres, with services operating within the Alexandra Hospital, Redditch, Kidderminster Treatment Centre and Worcestershire Royal Hospital, providing free and readily accessible information, without appointment.
Financial Support Services from Worcestershire Macmillan Citizens Advice team, with benefits advisers based in Redditch, Kidderminster and Worcester. Contact the team by calling 01905 725946 or visit www.cabwhabac.org.uk
Macmillan also funds a patient welfare grant scheme, which in 2013 alone gave a total of £73,393 in one-off grants to 260 county patients who were in financial hardship. This has supported requests for fuel bill payments, clothing and house hold equipment such as washing machines and bedding.
As you can see from the current team of health care professionals listed above, the people of Worcestershire benefit from a wealth of experienced and professional cancer care specialists. With your support, we can help to increase the range of nursing support we can offer in our local community.
Share your story
Would you like to share your experience of cancer to help others?
By telling the personal stories of people like you, we help people engage with and understand our work. We also use real stories to influence government and, through the media, inform the public what living with cancer is really like.
We’d be grateful to hear your story - as little or as much as you’d like to share. If this is something that interests you, simply contact us by calling 07850 772981 or 0300 1000 200, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org