Cancer care: putting the pieces together

This jigsaw shows the pieces that must come together for every person with cancer in Wales to have high quality, compassionate care and support.

Macmillan Wales wants every person with cancer to be treated like the individual they are.
Macmillan Wales wants every person with cancer to be treated like the individual they are.

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More about Macmillan Wales' Jigsaw

Decisions

Every person with cancer should be supported to make decisions about their care.

This could be through a conversation about their treatment options or what the side effects of their cancer or its treatment can be.

Every person with cancer should be supported to make decisions.

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Care

Each person with cancer should have high quality compassionate care no matter where they live or what type of cancer they have.

At the moment, there is too much variation in cancer care in Wales.

This means people have different experiences and outcomes of cancer care depending on where they live and what type of cancer they have.

Each person with cancer should have high quality compassionate care.

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Plan

  • All people with cancer should have their needs and preferences assessed when they are diagnosed to create a care plan in addition to the plan for their treatment. This will help the professionals who care for them to understand their concerns and what support they need.
  • Professionals can then use this information to let them know about the support available such as counselling, financial advice or local groups.
  • Each person should be offered a copy of their care plan and the plan should be updated at when the person’s treatment, outlook or circumstances change.
  • Sadly, some people with cancer will not survive. People whose cancer cannot be cured should have the opportunity to plan in advance and have the care and support they need.

All people with cancer should have their needs and preferences assessed.

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Money

A cancer diagnosis can have a huge financial cost from the day of diagnosis.

  • It may mean people are unable to work and also have extra bills to pay for such as travelling to hospital appointments.
  • That is why every person diagnosed with cancer should be told how to access financial advice in a timely way before financial problems start.

Every person diagnosed with cancer should be told how to access financial advice.

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Team

Every person diagnosed with cancer should have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist, who is their key worker to coordinate their care and navigate them through their treatment.

  • They may also need a wider team around them to support them to live well during and after their treatment such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists. This team should communicate well with the person and each other during their treatment.
  • When their cancer treatment ends, the person’s GP should have an end of treatment summary to make sure they know what treatment the person has had and how to support them.

Every person diagnosed with cancer should have access to a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

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Treatment

Every person with cancer should have timely access to high quality treatment for their cancer to give them the best chance of survival.

When their cancer cannot be cured, professionals should be trained to have sensitive conversations about treatment options and their impact on that person’s care and quality of life.

Every person with cancer should have timely access to high quality treatment.

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Hope

It can be difficult to focus on the positive aspects of life when you have cancer.

By making the most of the good things in life, and being supported to manage the impact of cancer, people can find hope to focus on taking control of their lives as well as manage their emotions and physical symptoms.

People can find hope to focus on taking control of their lives.

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Information

People with cancer should be given the information they need to understand their cancer, the treatment they are having and its side effects.

This should be in the right format and language for them as people want to be informed and communicated with in different ways.

People with cancer should be given the information they need.

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Support

People with cancer and their loved ones will be able to draw on support from all areas of their life during their treatment and afterwards.

  • As well as receiving support from their key worker and the cancer care team, they will be supported by those around them, including their loved ones, friends and colleagues.
  • They may well be interested in joining a peer support group, which helps them to talk openly and learn from other people’s experiences.

People with cancer and their loved ones will be able to draw on support from all areas of their life.

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Every year, 19,000 people are told they have cancer in Wales. Each one of them has a life, commitments and plans that cancer can tear apart.

That's why Macmillan Wales wants every person with cancer to be treated like the individual they are. It is essential to make sure they can keep the pieces of their life together during their treatment and plan for their life after cancer.