UHS members question city's leading cancer experts

Members of the public had the opportunity to question the city’s leading cancer experts at an event held in collaboration with Cancer Research UK. 

More than 60 Trust members and local students came onto site to hear from the director of cancer sciences unit, Professor Martin Glennie, on the history of research at Southampton and consultant nurse, Elaine Lennon, on advances in patient care and how it is now possible to receive chemotherapy at home or in mobile units in your local area.

Colorectal surgeon, Alex Mirnezami, spoke about the work he is doing in the fight against bowel cancer, revealing this is now the second commonest cause of cancer death in the UK, with 39,000 cases diagnosed each year.

"People need to be aware of the key symptoms of bowel cancer and have the confidence to speak to their GP about these. It is important that we get people speaking about their bottoms, no matter how embarrassing it is it could save your life," he said.

Finally patient Elizabeth Kenny, a local headmistress, revealed to the group what it’s like to live with life limiting cancer and the difference that the centre at Southampton has had on her life as she’s been able to be involved in clinical research trials.

The audience was then given the opportunity to ask questions and feedback their views on the service.

Trailed on microblogging website, Twitter, throughout the evening, the presentations reached a far wider audience as followers of the Trust were updated in real time and were able to make comments and feedback from the comfort of their own homes.

Julia Barton, associate director of nursing and patient experience, said: "These events are so important to raising health awareness, breaking down barriers and giving people the opportunity to question the experts and feedback on services.

"By giving our patients and public a stronger voice, either online or in person, we can continue to provide high quality care that is patient centred."

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