St George's Healthcare provides diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy for all types of cancer as well as palliative care (care to improve quality of life) and follow-up clinics. It also plays a key part in cancer prevention, offering screening services and treatment for pre-cancer stages. Radiotherapy (using x-rays or other forms of radiation as treatment) for patients is provided at the Royal Marsden Hospital with which St George's Healthcare is a Joint Cancer Centre. There is close liaison with primary healthcare teams and local hospices to provide seamless care for cancer patients. A 24-hour on-call oncology and palliative care service is available.
People diagnosed with cancer at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton, will be treated at either St George's Healthcare or at Kingston Hospital, and then return to Queen Mary's for follow up clinics.View a full portfolio of cancer services at St George's
For each cancer type, there is a multidisciplinary team of staff providing treatment and care for patients. Oncologists (cancer consultants) work with surgeons and medical doctors who specialise in whichever area of the body the cancer has first affected. The team will also include Macmillan nurses, nurse specialists, counsellors, radiologists (who use special equipment to create images of cancer-affected areas), geneticists, pathologists (who study the causes of disease) and may also include therapists and dieticians.
Multidisciplinary teams discuss all patients with a confirmed or suspected cancer diagnosis. The team approach ensures all treatment options are considered and patients receive the best care. When multidisciplinary teams include specialists from other hospitals, they contribute to the meeting using a video-link.
Each specialist cancer team has a clinical nurse specialist who acts as a key point of contact for a patient and their family (key worker). Individuals will get their key worker's contact details at the point where cancer is suspected or diagnosed.
There are multidisciplinary teams for:
Patients with sarcoma (cancers of bones, fat, muscles and other connective tissues) are seen initially by the specialist team which deals with the part of the body where the cancer appeared and their further treatment discussed at the sarcoma multidisciplinary team meeting at the Royal Marsden Hospital.
Treatment for all types of cancers may include surgery, radiotherapy (at the Royal Marsden), hormone therapy or chemotherapy or a combination.
St George's Healthcare Oncology service provides chemotherapy for patients affected by solid tumours, while those with cancers affecting the blood and lymph system are cared for by the Haemato-oncology team which specialises in cancers like leukaemia and myeloma.
St George's Healthcare is able to provide advice, support and information through its Health Information Centre. Patients and families can get free face-to-face, confidential welfare benefits and money advice from a specialist cancer Citizens Advice Bureau Adviser by telephoning the hotline 020 8780 2070. Patients may also find support through the hospital's Chaplaincy Service. There are strong links between St George's Healthcare and the Wandsworth Cancer Resource Centre, in Battersea, where counselling for patients, their friends and families can be arranged if needed.
Palliative care offers management of pain and symptoms as well as spiritual and emotional support for patients affected by life-threatening disease, and their families. Palliative care is offered at St George's Healthcare although patients may also be cared for in a hospice within the southwest London Cancer Network.
St George's Healthcare is the southwest London Bowel Screening Centre, part of the NHS Bowel Cancer Screening Programme, which aims to increase detection of early stage cancers when treatment is likely to be more effective.
Those offered further investigation after testing are invited to talk to a specialist screening nurse at St George's and are likely to be offered a colonoscopy (examination of the bowel) in the hospital's Endoscopy Unit.
People aged 70 and over can opt into the programme by calling a freephone helpline on 0800 707 6060.
Wandsworth Citizen's Advice Bureau runs a service to help cancer patients get the benefits to which they are entitled. An advice session is held at the Trust's Health Information Centre. To make an appointment, dial 020 8780 2070.
The cancer services management team is based in Grosvenor Wing at St George's Hospital. However, the doctors and nurses who provide cancer care are situated throughout the Trust in their specialist departments
020 8725 3321 or extension 0970