Guernsey nurse urges people to share ideas on cancer support

Princess Elizabeth Hospital Entrance - Credit ITV Channel TV
Many cancer survivors are left with life-changing after effects from chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. Credit: ITV Channel TV.

A Guernsey nurse is urging people to take part in a consultation on how best to support cancer survivors coping with life after treatment.Sharon Treacy is working on setting up a post-treatment wellness network for survivors and is urging islanders to share their experiences about what help they think would benefit people in recovery.

Many cancer survivors are left with life-changing after effects from chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.Maggie Spencer was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in 2021 during the second lockdown. She credits early diagnosis with saving her life.Maggie said: "I had a standard mammogram booked and the hospital said do you still want to go ahead with it because it was during lockdown and I said, 'oh well, it's organised so lets go ahead with it. Thank god I did, because they detected a large fairly aggressive tumour which they were able to tackle head on within a couple of weeks."One of the first people she met was nurse consultant Sharon Treacy at the Breast Unit who helps patients deal with the physical and mental impacts of cancer. Sharon said: "Last year we've seen a slight increase, so we've had almost 80 cancers last year. That's been quite difficult because of Covid and isolation and things like that, so it's been quite challenging from a professional point of view, trying to support patients during the Covid lockdown periods. However, we've managed to do as much as we can and support patients through as much as we can."

Maggie has been able to have chemotherapy on-island and says the support she has received from the team at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital has helped her fight against the disease both mentally and physically. 

Maggie added: "Not having to travel is wonderful. Bulstrode House is amazing, everyone is so kind there, you don't feel as if you are going into hospital, and the support generally with the Breast Unit, Bulstrode House and the specialists we have here, is excellent."