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Types of cancer and treatment

On this page you will find more information about the different cancers and the services we provide.

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women the UK. About one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50, but younger women can also develop breast cancer.

More rarely, men can be diagnosed with breast cancer too; in the UK this is approximately 400 men per year.

What does the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) do?

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is able to offer increased levels of support, advice and guidance to patients with cancer. All patients with cancer should have access to a CNS. They are usually present with the consultant when a diagnosis of cancer is given but if you are unsure whether you have seen one or not please feel free to ask your consultant. The CNS works closely with hospital nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to maximise the independence, dignity and quality of life of people suffering from cancer. They also liaise closely with community carers and GPs to ensure you receive the highest quality of care at home. You may see the CNS when you are on the ward, whilst having surgery, chemotherapy treatment or at the outpatient appointments. You will also be given contact details of your CNS and they can be contacted by telephone, between the hours of 9am–4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Breast CNS contact details

Via telephone 8.30am-4.30pm Monday - Friday excluding bank holidays 0118 322 7420.

Via email: breastcarenurses@royalberkshire.nhs.uk 

Please note messages may not be responded to until the next working day. This is not for emergencies.

Information / website links

The NHS website
Information about symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and links to other useful resources.

Breast Cancer Care
This is a national Charity offering a wide range of information and support services for patients diagnosed with breast cancer and for those supporting them. Phone: 0808 8006000

Newbury Breast Care Support Group
The group has a programme of speakers and drop in sessions at these meetings and also have a Breast Cancer Care Support volunteer available, plus partner support and a lady who has the BRCA2 gene. Services provided include: Relative support, befriending, bereavement support, cancer information materials, home visiting, telephone helpline, transport service.

Breast Cancer Support Group Reading  
The group exists to provide support and sources of information for patients with breast cancer. Monthly meetings are run by a health care worker and may be an opportunity for an informal catch up, question and answer sessions, and to hear from guest speakers, plus other group events.

Our meetings are informal and friendly. All are welcome, bring a friend if you wish.

Contact Breast Care Nurses on 0118 322 7420 or breastcarenurses@royalberkshire.nhs.uk for details of dates and times.

  • Breast Cancer Now - The ‘Someone Like Me’ Service matches people to others in a similar situation to theirs.
  • Breast surgery support - Offers advice for those considering reconstruction surgery
  • Flat Friends - Offers support for those who do not wish to have reconstruction

General support

  • ABC Diagnosis - Supporting primary and secondary breast cancer patients make informed choices with information and up to date news.
  • Ticking off breast cancer - General advice to help you through treatment for breast cancer
  • Hereditary Breast cancer support Helpline: 01629 813000
  • BRCA Umbrella - An online support forum for men and women with a hereditary risk of cancer.
  • Breast Cancer Now - Family history and breast cancer 

Triple negative breast cancer support

  • Team Verrico - Charity supporting and offering advice for those diagnosed with a triple negative breast cancer.
  • Health Talk - Healthtalk.org provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people's real-life experiences. You can watch people sharing their stories about cancer.
Colorectal (bowel) cancer

An average of 115 people are diagnosed with colorectal (bowel) cancer every day in the UK, that’s 41,854 per year. It is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK; however 90% of cases can be treated successfully if diagnosed early.

Most patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer are aged between 60 and 80 but it can occur at any age. The Royal Berkshire Hospital sees just over 300 new colorectal cancer patients per year.

What does the Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) do?

A cancer clinical nurse specialist aims to offer support, guidance and coordinate your care whilst offering continuity through being a central point of contact. All cancer patients should have access to a CNS. The CNS is usually present in clinic at diagnosis together with a consultant. The CNS acts as a link between you and the various other healthcare professionals / hospitals involved in your care. We also liaise with GPs and other community carers to ensure high levels of care in the community. We work closely with a team of consultant surgeons, consultant oncologist (cancer doctor), medical staff, radiologists and pathologists. Together we form a multidisciplinary team (MDT). The CNS is a core member of the MDT and acts as your key worker and advocate throughout your care.

Colorectal CNS contact details

You can contact the CNS team by phone between 8.30am and 4.30pm Monday to Friday. We will endeavour to return your call within 24 working hours as we may be seeing other patients in clinics.

Contact details: 0118 322 7182

There is an answer-phone facility so please leave a message with your name and contact details

Or email on: colorectalnurses@royalberskhire.nhs.uk

Information / website links

Bowel cancer UK: www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk

Cancer Research UK: www.cancerresearchuk.org

Macmillan: www.macmillan.org.uk

Gynaecological cancers

The term gynaecological cancer covers the reproductive organs in women, uterine, cervical, ovarian, fallopian tube, vulal and vaginal and also the membrane lining of the abdominal cavity which is called the peritoneum.

Gynaecological Cancers Nurse Specialist contact details

We are based at the Berkshire Cancer Centre and work alongside other members of your health care team. We work with doctors, nurses and other professionals to care for and support patients from diagnosis through and after treatment. Our gynaecological cancer team recognises that each person's needs are different and as such it is important that we plan your care individually.

Our role is to provide you with both, support and information, for both you and your family throughout your treatment and follow-up care this can be offered face to face through clinic and scheduled meetings, through telephone and email contact and can focus on your diagnosis, symptoms you may be experiencing and how best to manage them, treatment options whether this is surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy hormonal treatment and other available treatments and their side effects.

Tel: 0118 322 8195

Email: gynaecancernurse@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

We can provide information on:

  •          Finance advice and support
  • Additional support available in the community and how to access it
  • Available support resources from the Berkshire Cancer Centre rehabilitation team
  • Diet, exercise, psychological support and mindfulness
  • Support in speaking with children about a cancer diagnosis
  • Complimentary therapies
  • Genetic testing on Gynaecological cancers

 

Further online information by type of cancer:

Cervical cancer

https://www.jostrust.org.uk

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/cervical-cancer/understanding-cancer

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cervical-cancer

Endometrial Cancer

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/womb-endometrial-cancer/understanding-cancer

https://eveappeal.org.uk/gynaecological-cancers/womb-cancer/

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/womb-cancer/types-grades

Ovarian cancer/ Primary Peritoneal Cancer

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/ovarian-cancer

https://www.targetovariancancer.org.uk/information-and-support/support-you

https://www.ovacome.org.uk/

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/ovarian-cancer/understanding-cancer/types-of-ovarian-fallopian-tube-peritoneal-cancer.

https://eveappeal.org.uk/

Vulval Cancer

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/vulva-cancer/understanding-cancer/symptoms-vulval-cancer.html

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/vulval-cancer

https://eveappeal.org.uk/

Vaginal cancer

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/vagina-cancer

https://eveappeal.org.uk/ 

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK, affecting about 46,400 people per year.

The incidence in men is reducing, however in women the incidence is increasing.

Most lung cancers are smoking related, but there are other risk factors.

There are two main types of lung cancer:

  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer NSCLC
  • Small – Cell Lung Cancer SCLC

The lung Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team also care for patients with mesothelioma. This is a type of cancer arising in the lining of the lung, normally as a result of asbestos exposure. This is deemed as an industrial related disease, and usually occurs many years after exposure to asbestos. There are approximately 2,700 new cases per year in the UK, but account for less than 1% of all new cancer diagnoses.

What does the Lung Cancer CNS do?

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is able to offer increased levels of support, advice and guidance to patients with cancer. All patients with cancer should have access to a CNS. They are usually present with the consultant when a diagnosis of cancer is given but if you are unsure whether you have seen one or not please feel free to ask your consultant. The CNS works closely with hospital nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to maximise the independence, dignity and quality of life of people suffering from cancer. They also liaise closely with community carers and GPs to ensure you receive the highest quality of care at home. You may see the CNS when you are on the ward, while having surgery, chemotherapy treatment or at the outpatient appointments. You will also be given contact details of your CNS and they can be contacted by telephone, between the hours of 09.00 – 16.30 hrs Monday to Friday.

Lung Cancer CNS contact details

You can contact us by telephone on 0118 322 8994, Monday to Friday, between 9am to 4.30pm (excluding weekends and Bank Holidays). There is an answer phone facility on this phone and we would be grateful if you leave a message with your name and contact details.

Alternatively, you can contact us via email: lungcancernurses@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

Messages may not be returned until the following working day as this isn't an emergency service.

Information, websites and links

Neurological cancers

The neuro-oncology nursing service is available Monday to Friday. We support people living with primary brain tumours who are managed under the oncology service at The Royal Berkshire Hospital and live in west or east Berkshire.

We are aware that being diagnosed with a brain tumour affects patients and families differently and that a personalised and sensitive approach is needed to provide individualised support.

Many of our patients have neuro-surgery as part of their management. This is carried out by the neuro-surgical team at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. We have strong links to our neuro-surgical colleagues making sure any handover to them or back to the Berkshire Cancer Centre is seamless.

We offer regular holistic assessment to our patients so that any needs can be identified. This often results in onward referrals to a range of additional services for example:

  • Neuro-rehab and neuro-psychology services
  • Dietetics
  • Speech and language therapy
  • Citizens advice
  • Palliative care services.

Neuro-Oncology CNS contact details

We are available to contact by phone or e-mail Monday, Tuesday Thursday and Friday. There is also a limited amount of cover on a Wednesday but face to face service isn’t available that day.

Telephone: 0118 322 8542

Email: neurooncologynurse@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

There are a number of charities who provide support to patients and their families living with brain tumours. Some of this support is online but there is also face to face support and meet up social evenings and day-time information sessions. The charities also provide written information. To find out more please click on the link here.

Skin and Sarcoma cancer

Skin Cancer

There are three main categories of skin cancer,

  • Basal cell cancer (BCC)
  • Squamous cell cancer (SCC)
  • Malignant melanoma.

Basal cell cancer: is the most common type of skin cancer. It is slow growing and rarely spreads to other parts of the body. It is sometimes referred to as a “rodent ulcer”. There are a number of ways to treat BCC- the most common treatment is surgical removal under local anaesthetic. Sometimes topical treatments are more appropriate and sometimes radiotherapy is needed.

Squamous cell cancer: is also generally slower growing but if it isn’t caught in the early stages it does have the potential to spread to other parts of the body. Occasionally and SCC can behave aggressively and spread quickly, but this is unusual.

Melanoma: is less common than BCC and SCC but it is a more unpredictable cancer. If caught early there is a very good chance of cure but some melanomas behave aggressively and spread to the rest of the body.

Sarcoma support

Sarcoma is a cancer that arises from the bone or connective tissue.

Sarcoma is managed at specialist centres and the most local specialist centre for Berkshire sarcoma patients is the Nuffield orthopaedic centre and part of the Oxford University Hospitals (OUH). Patients in the Berkshire area who are diagnosed with sarcoma will have their case discussed at the Oxford sarcoma specialist Multi Disciplinary Team (MDT) and will most likely be treated and managed by the OUH team.

The skin cancer nursing service also offers support to patients who are undergoing tests for suspected or who are known to have sarcoma and will be admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital while undergoing treatment. We act as a service to facilitate communication between the sarcoma patient and their specialist centre and also to offer support to patients and their families.

We aim to support you and your family from diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. The majority of skin cancers are caused by radiation damage, secondary to sun exposure or sunbed use. The skin cancer nurses role is to support patients and educate them about sun safety and skin surveillance. We also offer the Macmillan holistic needs assessment and sign posting.

Clinical Nurse Specialists for skin cancers

You can contact us by telephone or email Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) from 8.30am to 4.30pm. 

Useful contacts for Skin Cancers:

Useful contacts for Sarcoma:

  • Oxford University Hospitals pathway co-ordinator: 0186 573 8042
  • SarcomaUK: www.sarcoma.org.uk 
Upper Gastrointestinal cancers

Upper Gastrointestinal Cancers (UGI) are cancers which affect the upper part of the gastric tract:

  • Oesophagus
  • Stomach (gastric cancer)
  • Pancreas
  • Duodenum
  • Liver (Primary only)

The UGI Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team also care for patients whose primary cancer is not known and often never found. This group of patients is known as Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP).

What do the Upper Gastrointestinal and Cancer of Unknown Primary Clinical Nurse Specialists do?

A Clinical Nurse Specialist is able to offer increased levels of support, advice and guidance to patients with cancer. All patients with cancer should have access to a CNS. They are usually present with the consultant when a diagnosis of cancer is given but if you are unsure whether you have seen one or not please feel free to ask your consultant. The CNS works closely with hospital nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to maximize the independence, dignity and quality of life of people suffering from cancer. They also liaise closely with community carers and GPs to ensure you receive the highest quality of care at home. You may see the CNS when you are on the ward, whilst having surgery, chemotherapy treatment or at the outpatient appointments. You will also be given contact details of your CNS and they can be contacted by telephone, between the hours of 08.00 – 16.00 Monday to Friday.

Upper Gastrointestinal and Cancer of Unknown Primary: Clinical Nurse Specialist contact details

You can contact us by telephone from Monday to Friday between 8am-4pm (excluding weekends and Bank Holidays). There is an answerphone facility on this phone and we would be grateful if you leave a message with your name, contact details and a brief message.

The telephone number is 0118 322 7748

Messages may not be returned until the following working day. This is not an emergency service.

Information, websites and links

Oxfordshire Oesophageal and Stomach Organization – ooso.org.uk
Oesophageal Patients Association – www.opa.org.uk 
Macmillan Cancer Support- macmillan.org.uk 
Pancreatic Cancer UK – pancreaticcancer.org.uk

A short video about our Upper GI Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS), the patient journey and support on swallowing during treatment. .

 

Urological cancers

There are many types of urological cancers. Some types can affect both men and women such as kidney and bladder cancers. Other cancers are gender specific affecting men, such as prostate, testicular and penile cancers. At the Royal Berkshire hospital we see and treat patients affected by cancer of the prostate, bladder, kidney, testicles and penis.

What does the Uro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist do?

A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is able to offer increased levels of support, advice and guidance to patients with cancer. All patients with cancer should have access to a CNS. They are usually present with the consultant when a diagnosis of cancer is given but if you are unsure whether you have seen one or not, please feel free to ask your consultant. The CNS works closely with hospital nurses, doctors and other health care professionals to maximise the independence, dignity and quality of life of people suffering from cancer. They also liaise closely with community carers and GPs to ensure you receive the highest quality of care at home. You may see the CNS when you are on the ward, whilst having surgery, chemotherapy treatment or at your outpatient appointments. You will also be given contact details of your CNS and they can be contacted by telephone, between the hours of 9.00am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Uro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialists Contact Details

You can contact us by telephone from 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday - Friday excluding bank holidays on 0118 3227905.

There is an answerphone facility on this phone and we would be grateful if you leave a message with your name and contact details. Please note messages left on the phone and email may not be responded to until the next working day. Please note that this facility is not for emergencies.

Alternatively, please contact us via email: urology.nurses@royalberkshire.nhs.uk

Information, support groups and website links