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When Helpline staff talk to people calling with breast health or breast cancer questions it’s vital that the information we give is clinically accurate and of a high standard. So the team works hard to keep our clinical knowledge up to date.
Twice a year we have an update day where we hear from expert speakers. For example we’ve recently had talks on cancer research trials targeted therapies and meeting the needs of people living with secondary breast cancer.
Our next update is in November and we’re getting organised early to ensure we can book high-calibre speakers this time on cancer genetics and chemotherapy.
There are many breast cancer-related events each year. We choose them carefully going to those that will be the most helpful and cost-effective. Anyone who attends a study day or conference briefs the rest of the team afterwards.
Events so far this year have included breast reconstruction and fertility following breast cancer treatment.
These can be fitted around our working commitments and we get to hear what’s going on internationally as well as in the UK. One I took part in recently was on breast cancer genetics.
Also because our work involves supporting breast care nurses and other breast cancer healthcare professionals we run our own teleconference programme. This year we've done a session on drug treatment that aims to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who are at a higher risk of developing it and one on altered body image
As well as clinical information it’s important we know about NHS services and any changes taking place. We work closely with NHS nurses and doctors: most of the team here has worked in the NHS at some point and we keep in touch with our colleagues.
We have a news service to let us know about any media stories.
If the way the media interprets a story concerns us or we feel people will call about an item for any reason we’re able to check the facts behind the stories by looking into the original study or other background information.
If any of the Helpline team wants an update on a particular topic I look into the most suitable learning resource to meet that need. This might include an online presentation or some one-to-one time with a member of our Clinical team.
We’ve recently tried out a new evidence-based resource that we hope will help us find more information we need faster. This is really useful if someone is waiting on the phone for some answers.
As you can see we use a whole range of ways to make sure that when you ring us with a breast cancer or breast health concern you can be confident you’re talking to someone who understands what you’re going through and who has the knowledge to answer to your queries.
Call us on 0808 800 6000
Researchers based at the Institute of Cancer Research have discovered a link between infertility and breast cancer in men. This could help us better understand the disease and lead to better ways to treat or prevent it.
Proposed changes to cancer waiting times in England and what this could mean for people who are referred to a breast clinic with possible signs of cancer.
Last week, Breast Cancer Now was invited to give evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s inquiry on cancer services.