March marks Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month – a campaign highlighting a disease that affects one in 50 women (killing around a third in the first year after diagnosis).
A cancer or palliative diagnosis can leave you facing many challenges, from coping with your illness and treatment to accessing the right information and support. To help raise awareness of the support on offer, we are shining a light on our own Information Support team here at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust.
The team consists of two fully qualified Outreach Support Officers (Naheed Razzaq and Joanne Barlow), Information Outreach Support Services Team Leader (Raj Mann), Outreach Cervical Screening Nurse (Linda Hayes) and Information Officer (Caron Gobsill).
Carol Smith, Gynaecological Clinical Nurse Specialist, said: “It is vital that every woman knows the symptoms for ovarian cancer as there are approximately 7,500 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in the UK each year.
“The main symptoms can include feeling full quickly, loss of appetite, abdominal bloating, pain, and needing to pass urine more often. If you feel something isn’t right, please contact your GP.”
The team act as a listening ear to patients and families, while signposting to other health and social care services. They actively try to raise the profile of cancer and palliative conditions through health promotion across the borough, engaging in social media as well as promoting the NHS Screening programmes for breast, bowel and cervical cancer.
Patients can self-refer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01922 602610.