Being told by your GP that you are to be referred to hospital for tests to either dismiss or confirm cancer can be a very worrying time.
At Blackpool Teaching Hospitals, we understand this and want to take this opportunity, on World Cancer Day 2017, to provide an insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to ensure that all patients referred for investigation receive timely and appropriate diagnostics and onward treatment planning.
We have a dedicated team of Cancer Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) Coordinators who form a pivotal role in the monitoring and reporting of every patient referred with the suspicion of cancer to ensure that they receive prompt and appropriate review.
They will track each patient from GP referral until a decision is made on what treatment is required. Every appointment, results of diagnostics tests, outcomes of meetings all have to take place within a set timeframe. This is called the Patient Pathway.
Our coordinators support the weekly Multidisciplinary Team meetings, where our clinicians, specialist nurses, radiologists, oncologists and other specialist team members come together to review x-rays, scans and pathology results and make decisions on what is the most appropriate treatment for each patient.
For a lot of people, this will mean reassurance that there is no cancer and they are discharged back to the care of their GP. However, in the event of cancer being diagnosed, we hope it is reassuring to know that there is a team dedicated to ensuring every patient receives the appropriate level of care.
The patient will never be aware of their presence but the Cancer MDT Coordinators will be working tirelessly in the background to ensure that excellent patient care is provided.
We are featuring this team in the run up to our world Cancer Day event at Blackpool Victoria Hospital on Friday, February 3.
The event will take place on the Mezzanine from 11am to 3pm. Members of the public and staff are very welcome to go along and make a personal pledge to fight cancer and pick up information.