ADVANCES in cancer care have led to dramatic improvements in survival rates but have been accompanied by more complex, and a times, debilitating treatments.
The challenges vary for every individual but can include physical, psychological and social side effects including fatigue, infertility and loss of sexual function, financial hardship and potential future complications including the risk of new cancers and heart disease.
To alleviate some of these challenges and to help cancer patients live well during and after treatment, researchers at St John of God Murdoch Hospital are creating a series of videos for patients at the hospital’s cancer centre.
The first video in the series introduces patients to the hospital and cancer centre facilities and what they can expect when they arrive for treatment.
The video also outlines the treatment process, possible side effects and how to live as healthily as possible.
The following four videos in the series will provide further information about diet, exercise and physiotherapy.
Professor Leanne Monterosso said the videos were being developed using feedback from interviews and study groups in which patients were asked about their experience receiving treatment and recovering from cancer.
“Through extensive research studies conducted globally, we know that if you adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle during and after your treatment and take control of these areas of your life, your recovery and outcomes are far better,” Professor Monterosso said.
To reflect patients’ different needs at different stages of diagnosis, researchers interviewed patients at four points: at diagnosis, at three and six months after diagnosis and at the end of their treatment.
“We are offering every patient, carer and friend access to the videos from the hospital’s webpage – they can be seen on the hospital TV channel, at home, interstate or overseas,” Professor Monterosso said.
You can see the first in the series of videos at www.sjog.org.au/murdochcancersupport