As people – very many of them from developing countries – shared their experience and ways of working in an effort to improve care and support of everyone facing a diagnosis of breast cancer many delegates told me that our website and patient information is the best in the world.
Representing Breast Cancer Care I was there particularly to tell others about our Moving Forward partnership courses and how evaluation shows that they increase people’s understanding and confidence as they try to move on with their lives following treatment for breast cancer. Also how we use social media to spread important information about breast awareness our services and how we enable people meet online by phone and face to face.
Linh NguyenDrLinh Nguyen is an oncologist from Vietnam. We talked about the importance of emotional support in addition to clinical care and how encouraging women to share their feelings could help her patients.
She said she struggles to persuade her patients that there are things they can do to help themselves. I suggested making use of our information. For example our Getting fitter feeling stronger downloadable leaflet with pictures of the post-surgery exercises. Her patients could understand and follow them even if they don’t read English.
The sense of sisterhood was strong at this conference and inspired me to work as hard here in the UK to improve standards of care and support as the women I met do in their countries.
Erica Kulumba from Kenya (left ) and Speciosa Kabwegyere from Uganda (right) have both been diagnosed with breast cancer and have set up local support groups.
Erica’s group has more than 100 members who meet every month in Mombasa. They talk about how to control pain how to raise awareness of breast cancer in their local communities raise money for treatment and food and support each other.
Erica and Speciosa
Speciosa’s group of more than 50 members helps other women to have a less traumatic experience than they had through diagnosis and treatment.
I came away feeling proud humble and motivated to do more to improve our ways of working and continue to share learning and ideas with other organisations around the world.
*You can see more pictures from the conference on our Flickr gallery
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