Yorkshire cancer patients need ‘more than medicine’

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GOING through cancer treatment is ordeal enough – but new research has shown that as well as coping with their own diagnosis, most patients worry about their family and friends too.

Cancer charity Maggie’s has carried out the research, which shows a gap in provision of support for the loved ones of Yorkshire cancer patients.

The poll found that 81 per cent of people with the illness were concerned about how their relations and friends were coping.

Nearly 80 per cent said there needed to be more help for those supporting cancer patients and 71 per cent said their treatment would have been more manageable if they’d had additional back-up outside of medical realms.

Among those whose loved ones had experienced cancer, almost half tried to put on a brave face while a third admitted they were in denial or tried to forget what was happening.

Maggie’s runs a network of centres across the UK offering free practical and emotional support to cancer patients and their families.

Preparations are currently underway for the construction of Maggie’s Yorkshire, the first of their facilities in the region, which will be built at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

The centre will be located opposite the Bexley Wing specialist cancer wing and is due to open next year.

Before then, the charity has launched its latest tool to help those facing the illness – a series of inspirational podcasts.

The first, called All Together Now, features interviews by BBC presenter Victoria Derbyshire, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.

It explores the isolation often felt by people with cancer and their loved ones, aiming to provide inspiration and support and exploring some of the creative ways people tackle the issue.

Ann-Louise Ward, chief operating officer at Maggie’s said: “People with cancer really do need more than medicine.

“Research shows that support, over and above their medical care as well as a chance to meet other people who understand how it feels to live with cancer, helps them to deal better with their cancer experience.

“Through the support of our professionally qualified staff and the opportunity within our centres to meet people in a similar situation, we aim to help people live well with cancer.

“By launching our new series of inspirational podcasts we hope that more people affected by cancer can find the support they need at a time when they need it most.”

Listen to the podcast at www.maggiescentres.org/podcast and follow #morethanmedicine on social media. Further podcasts in the series will be available throughout the year.

* Maggie’s cancer support centres have become known for their striking design, and the Leeds centre will be no different.

Last year planning permission was granted for the building, which has been designed by the acclaimed Heatherwick Studio, founded by Thomas Heatherwick CBE who masterminded the 2012 Olympic cauldron.

It will feature a series of roof gardens in buildings resembling giant planters, with the aim to create a calming and uplifting environment.

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