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St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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 University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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 University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or at Kingston Hospital, and then return to Queen Mary’s for follow up clinics.
Screening and Diagnosis
- St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has a Breast Screening Unit, for diagnosis of breast cancers through mammograms (x-rays) and ultrasound. The Trust also runs a one-stop breast clinic for women with breast lumps, where patients can have the majority of their diagnostic tests in one visit.
- St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the southwest London Bowel Cancer Screening Centre. Screening for 60-69 year olds began in November 2006. In addition, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides a weekly one-stop clinic for patients with suspected bowel cancer referred by their GP.
- The cytology laboratory at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust examines smear tests from the majority of GP practices and family planning clinics in Wandsworth as well as smear tests from the hospital. Currently two-thirds of tests results are sent out within two weeks and 100% within four weeks.
- The colposcopy service at St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust offers outpatient treatment and monitoring of abnormalities detected on smear tests.
- There are one-stop clinics for both general urologyreferrals and specifically for patients referred with haematuria (blood appearing in urine).
- A one-stop clinic in gynaecologywhere patients can receive hysteroscopy and ultrasound.
- A straight-to-test endoscopyservice for Upper GI (the upper gastro-intestinal tract includes the gullet, stomach, liver, gallbladder and bile ducts) patients referred under the ‘Two Week Rule’ (see below) with suspected cancer.
- St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has a cancer genetics service, which is part of the Clinical Genetics Serviceat St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
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:
- Lung cancer
- Neurological cancer (brain and nervous system)
- Breast cancer
- Upper gastrointestinal (the gullet, stomach, liver, gallbladder and bile ducts)
- Lower gastrointestinal cancers (colon and bowel cancer)
- Head and neck (including thyroid cancer)
- Skin (melanoma and non-melanoma)
- Gynaecological cancers (cancers of the female reproductive system including womb, cervix and ovaries)
- Haematological cancers (Leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma)
- Urological cancers (bladder, kidneys, prostate and male reproductive organs)
- Paediatric (children’s) cancer
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 University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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 leukemia and myeloma.
Additional Support and Palliative Care
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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 University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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 University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust although patients may also be cared for in a hospice within the southwest London Cancer Network.
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust 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.
Macmillan Information and Support Centre: 020 8725 2677
Cancer IT Department: 020 8725 0970
Colposcopy enquiries: 0208 725 0900
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