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People diagnosed with a brain tumour or rarer cancer will soon have additional support from a new Macmillan cancer nurse specialist at St Mary’s Hospital.

It’s the latest development in the partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support and the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and means the charity will fully fund the new post for 3 years at a total cost of £172,000.

Anne Snow, Macmillan lead cancer nurse at the Trust leads a team of 17 staff throughout the hospital, 5 of whom are Macmillan nurses.

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Anne has said:

“This addition to our team is wonderful news. As a lot treatment takes place on the mainland, having a cancer nurse specialist team on the island to coordinate care and be a supportive link for patients is vital for good cancer care.

“More than 1,300 island residents are diagnosed with cancer each year and the number is increasing.

“Macmillan is an important partner. As well as providing funding for new posts, the charity provides additional training opportunities for Macmillan nurses and the whole team, helping us all deliver improving care for patients.

“We also have a well-developed health and wellbeing programme that all our patients are referred to. It includes physical activity, diet advice and dealing with long term effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and clinical psychology.”

One patient who has been looked after by the team at St Mary’s is Barbara Moutarde, who lives in Seaview. Barbara was first diagnosed with bowel cancer more than 5 years ago and has been supported by Macmillan nurses and benefited from their health and wellbeing course after treatment, helping her with physical activity and diet.

“I was diagnosed with bowel cancer in January 2012 and saw the oncologist regularly after my operation and chemotherapy, together with a Macmillan nurse. A lot has happened since then as the cancer spread to my liver and all this time the Macmillan nurses have supported me. I had a further operation this year and although I’m still recovering, I feel a lot better. I know I can ring the team at St Mary’s at any time with questions and they always come back to me.”

As well as coping with her own diagnosis, Barbara sadly lost her husband Derrick to mesothelioma (a rare type of cancer).

“Early in 2013, just as I was waiting to go into Southampton hospital for my liver operation my husband Derrick was diagnosed. As I came home from hospital on a Saturday, he went to radiotherapy on the Monday.”

Macmillan’s partnership manager for the Island, Chris Scally, adds:

“When you hear stories like Barbara’s and the care and dedication of the team at St. Mary’s, it emphasises the importance of our work together. As the number of cancer diagnoses increases, so will the demand for our partnership services.”

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