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Q&A with Cassie on ‘personalised support’

Cassie is one of our clinical nurse specialists. We asked her about personalised support for people with primary breast cancer, including why it’s so important.

1. What’s personalised support?  

Personalised support is support that’s tailored to a person, so that it prioritises their needs. Getting this right can have a big impact on peoples' quality of life.

2. Why is personalising care important in the primary breast cancer follow-up pathway? 

More people are living with and beyond breast cancer and they need support. When people finish their treatment and move into the follow-up pathway, it can be difficult for them to adjust to life after treatment.   

Healthcare professionals can tailor care and support to peoples' needs, so that people can access the support they need. This could involve connecting people with our Someone Like Me service or signposting people to advice on returning to work.   

3. What do current guidelines say? 

Current NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) guidelines state that people affected by breast cancer should be provided with a follow-up care plan. They state that this should include the contact details of support services, among other resources. 

Macmillan has a recovery package that supports the personalisation of this by using health needs assessment, treatment summaries, cancer care reviews and the provision of health and wellbeing information and support.  

4. What are the challenges of implementing personalised support in practice? 

From talking with breast care professionals and people who’ve had breast cancer treatment, we know that both implementing and accessing personalised support can be challenging. Many factors can impact both, such as time and capacity in the clinics as well as individual factors such as cultural or social barriers. 

Charities like us can play a vital role in helping people access the care and support they need, when they need it, through a range of services, from helplines to online forums.  

We aim to support clinicians and people affected by breast cancer, to make sure that everyone wanting support can feel able to get access, both during and after breast cancer treatment. 

Hear more from Cassie

If you’re a healthcare professional, you can join Oncology Professional Care 2024, taking place in ExCel London on Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 May.  

We have a session on the Right support at the right time, on Tuesday 21 May, from 1.40 to 2.10pm.

Oncology Professional Care 2024

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