Trust nurses create first combined patient and staff text on women's cancers


Two nurses based at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have produced the first book on breast and gynaecological cancers which combines clinical information with first-hand patient experiences.

Written by Alison Keen, a gynaecological oncology clinical nurse specialist, and Elaine Lennan, a consultant nurse in cancer care, of Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Women’s Cancers offers clinicians an up-to-date resource and provides patients with real-life accounts to help them understand all aspects of their illness.

As well as looking at the causes, distribution and control of disease, it provides specific detail on treatments, stages of illness and end of life care, and addresses concerns about sexual function and fertility.

“Before the development of this text, there was no comprehensive reference guide for nurse specialists in gynae-oncology and no information for patients on their cancer which combined accounts of fellow patients to give them a complete overview and answers to some of their concerns,” said Alison.

“So, with the help of Elaine’s wide-ranging research on the impact of cancer and its effect on patients and their families, we decided to link with a variety of international experts to produce something that can be picked up by a clinician one day and a patient the next – but be just as useful to both.”

She added: “While we hope to see our work used widely in clinical practice, the most satisfying aspect is that we are providing women everywhere with the necessary guidance, comfort and assurance they need at difficult and challenging times in their lives.”

The text’s foreword is written by Professor Stan Kaye, a consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital, London and head of the drug development unit at The Institute of Cancer Research.

Posted on Friday 12 August 2011