Living With and Beyond Cancer End of Treatment

  • Reference Number: HEY-289/2019
  • Departments: Oncology (Cancer Services)

Introduction

You have been given this leaflet as you have completed your planned cancer treatment.  It is not intended to replace the discussion between you and your doctor, but may act as a starting point for discussion.   If after reading it you have any concerns or require further explanation, please discuss this with a member of the healthcare team.

We have a designated Living With and Beyond Cancer Team within the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology who are dedicated in providing a supportive service for patients.  The team is nurse-led and is able to offer support and guidance on many issues that you may be experiencing.  This leaflet provides information on some of the issues we can help you with.

The team can help with:

  • Long term follow up and clinical support
  • Self-management based on your individual needs
  • Access to local self-help groups
  • Health and well-being events
  • Promoting positive lifestyles and health education
  • Referral to and liaison with other agencies (benefit advice, psychological support)

How will I feel once my treatment is finished?

Some patients describe feeling “lost or vulnerable” after completing their chemotherapy and / or radiotherapy, as they have been used to the security of the hospital unit they have been attending.  The end of cancer treatment can provoke strong emotions and possible concerns for the future.  These feelings are quite normal and that most patients experience them.  Many people feel tired and lethargic after completing their cancer treatment and this can go on for some time.  We understand it can become frustrating that you feel unable to carry out everyday activities or feel exhausted very quickly, but it is important to allow yourself time to re-build and recover.

When do I come back to the hospital?

You will continue to be cared for by the medical team within the Outpatients Department at the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology following the end of your cancer treatment.  Depending on your cancer, you may be referred for nurse-led follow up.  Your nurse-led appointments will focus on promoting well-being and monitoring your health for late effects of treatment; as well as providing you with resources and advice to help you adjust to life after cancer.

The nurse-led appointments will be held in the community rather than at the hospital.  However, if at any time you feel unwell, please contact the Living With and Beyond Cancer Team.

Will I have any more blood tests, X-rays or scans?

It is important that we continue to monitor you; this will include routine tests.  The nurse will discuss this with you at your appointment.

Why do I need monitoring for late effects?

 The chemotherapy drugs and/or radiotherapy that you have received as part of your cancer treatment may affect other organs later in life.  As part of your follow up care, we will discuss what monitoring you require and how this may affect you.

Can I still see my GP?

It is important to remember that you may have general health concerns, like anyone else and your GP will be able to treat you.  The hospital will have kept your GP informed of your cancer treatment and they can refer you back to the Living With and Beyond Cancer Team if they have any concerns.

What about returning to work?

Returning to a normal routine after cancer treatment can often be beneficial. However, you will need some time to recover and this will depend on the type of work that you do.  Most employers will be sympathetic to your circumstances and it may be worth considering a phased return or alternative duties.  However, if you require help or advice with employment issues, please contact the team who will advise you appropriately.

What else do you do?

We cover a wide range of issues including welfare rights, family / carer support, local support groups, fatigue, exercise, diet, sexual dysfunction and relationship issues.

We hold monthly support groups, walking for health group, choir, weekly activity sessions and a 6 week Macmillan HOPE programme.  We can provide a text, telephone and email service and much more.

You can also find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/heycancersurvivorship

https://www.facebook.com/positivenotechoir

How do I access the service?

You can ask your consultant to refer you to the Living With and Beyond Cancer Team or you can refer yourself.  If you would like to make an appointment upon the completion of your treatment, please telephone (01482) 461091.

How to contact us

The Living With and Beyond Cancer Team can be contacted by telephone, or email. Telephone: (01482) 461091.

E-mail: Survivorship.team@hey.nhs.ukappens afterwards?

Macmillan Cancer Information Centre

The Macmillan ‘drop-in’ Cancer Information Centre is situated within the Queen’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology.  They can provide information on all aspects of cancer and cancer treatments; as well as information on the practical and emotional aspects of living with cancer.  They are open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5.00pm.  You can also contact them by telephone on (01482) 461154

The Macmillan National Helpline: the opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.00am to 8:00pm. You can contact them by:

Telephone: Freephone 0808 808 0000.

Online: http://www.macmillan.org.uk

Write to: Macmillan Cancer Support, 89 Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7UQ

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.