Consequences of Cancer and its Treatment Community of Influence (CCaT)

More and more people are being successfully treated for cancer – at last count there were about 2 million cancer survivors in the United Kingdom and this figure is growing. However research has shown that the needs of some people after treatment are not currently being met.

Who we are

The Consequences of Cancer and its Treatment Collaborative (CCaT) was created in 2009, as a ‘community of influence’, supported by Macmillan, to improve the experience and outcomes of people living with and beyond cancer. CCaT has a collective voice influencing healthcare policy, practice and research aimed at addressing the physical, psychological and social consequences of cancer and its treatment. CCaT is made up of eleven senior research-active nurses and one physiotherapist, from England and Scotland, all of whom have credibility as leaders and innovators in practice, research and education.

What we do

CCaT members, individually and jointly, are engaged in a range of initiatives to improve the care of people who have been treated for cancer, through service development, education, research and evaluation.

Since CCaT was set up, members have worked with colleagues locally and nationally to influence care for people living with the consequences of cancer and its treatment.

Key activities include:

  • Publication of major resources
  • Working with Macmillan on recent campaigns (e.g. sex, exercise) and information resources (e.g. Worry about cancer coming back, Late effects of head and neck cancer treatment)
  • Research projects involving some 6,000 patients and 1,500 healthcare professionals (published or underway since CCaT’s formation)
  • Development of innovative nurse-led / physiotherapist-led services (e.g. psychosexual therapy service, late effects for teenagers and young adults)
  • Educational initiatives at local, national and international level (e.g. practice nurse courses, nursing, AHP and dental conferences).

A woman sits with the chin in her palm looking at the camera

Learn about the CCaT

This video describes our work and the influence we aim to have.

Learn about the CCaT

This video describes our work and the influence we aim to have.

Resources produced by CCaT

After cancer treatment: A guide for professionals

More people are living with, or surviving cancer than ever before and health and social care professionals have an important role to play in supporting people living with and beyond cancer.

This guide accompanies the 10 Top Tips patient booklet and explains why each of the tips is important. It provides practical ideas and suggestions for how healthcare professionals can support patients in their recovery from cancer. Download the guide [PDF].

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Caring for Patients Living with and Beyond Cancer: A Competence Framework for Nurses

This competence framework has endorsement from the Royal College of Nursing and the UK Oncology Nursing Society. It is the first of its kind in the UK, identifying core domains of care for patients living with and beyond cancer.

This framework provides details of the skills and knowledge nurses need to provide safe and effective care and is appropriate for all nurses who care for cancer patients in any setting. Download the framework [PDF].

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What to do after cancer treatment ends: 10 Top Tips

This patient booklet is suitable for anyone affected by cancer at the end of treatment. It has suggestions to help people get the best care and support available and to help people to lead as healthy and active a life as possible. Download the booklet [PDF].

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A selection of Macmillan leaflets on the table

Learn about the CCaT Competence Framework

Learn about the CCaT Competence Framework

Research and influence

Research and influence lies at the heart of the work that the members of CCaT are carrying out. This falls into three main categories:

  • Assessing patients needs after treatment
  • Creating and Testing new services for survivors
  • Generating the evidence that is necessary to improve patient care.

Assessing patients needs after treatment

As a group, we want anybody who has had cancer treatment to have a proper assessment. This is a face-to-face conversation (e.g. with a health professional or therapist) about how they are feeling now, how they are likely to feel in the next few months and what concerns they have, whether physical or emotional. This is sometimes called a Holistic Needs Assessment.

Creating and testing new services for survivors

Creating and improving specific services for cancer survivors is central to CCaT's work. Any new service for patients needs to be tested and evaluated to make sure it is effective and to identify what could be improved. CCaT members are conducting evaluations in the areas below:

  • Establishing and running a service for anal and rectal cancer patients after treatment: Gillian Knowles has worked with two Clinical Oncology Consultant colleagues at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre to redesign follow-up services for these two patient groups.
  • Bowel management after rectal cancer:  Claire Taylor is using Macmillan funding to test an intervention for individuals who have had rectal cancer treatment. This is a complex intervention comprising several different components and utilising principles of the biofeedback approach.
  • Urinary problems among prostate cancer patients:  Sara Faithfull has been testing a programme that helps participants cope better with prostate cancer, its treatment and side-effects.
  • Quality of life for head-and-neck cancer patients: Mary Wells has involved clinicians in a pilot project and now they want to make quality-of-life assessment part of normal practice.

Generating evidence needed to improve patient care

Improving patient care often depends on developing workforce confidence and ability. CCaT is actively supporting and educating health professionals - especially nurses and allied health professionals.

For example, Sara Faithfull is using Macmillan funding to evaluate health workforce readiness and confidence in managing the consequences of cancer as a long-term condition.