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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Furness General Hospital surgeon seeks better help for women after illness

MORE needs to be done to support women struggling to get back to everyday life after surviving serious illness, a top breast cancer consultant has claimed.

Rishi Parmeshwar, who works at Furness General Hospital, among other hospitals, is set to spread his vision for the future of support for survivors.

The surgeon wants to convince his bosses at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, plus commissioning GPs, third sector organisations and other health services, to work better together so women are not “cut adrift” after treatment.

The number of cancer survivors grows year on year, he said.

He added: “The current estimate says 30 to 40 per cent of breast cancer patients continue to have issues as a result of their condition.

“We’re too focused on treatment and trying to cure disease, and we’ve lost the larger picture in that there’s a human being behind all that.

“We need to acknowledge this so we can move forward. Staying where we are is not an option.

“What’s the point in treating someone but leaving them worse off afterwards? Cutting, stitching and providing medication is no good if you’re not looking beyond that.”

Mr Parmeshwar said patients are often left with physical and psychological problems – such as menopause-reminiscent symptoms – as a result of hormone treatment.

They can experience exhaustion and forgetfulness following chemotherapy or depression, anxiety and issues surrounding their sex lives, due to the changes to their bodies.

These and other lasting effects often result in women feeling unable to return to work or properly support their families.

He said more needs to be done to “signpost” those finishing treatment so they do not feel alone and know how to access the right support, rather than having to return to their GPs in distress weeks or months later.

The doctor will be talking about this at the next meeting of Furness Breast Cancer Support Group on Monday, March 4.

The meeting, being held at The Forum in Barrow at 2pm, welcomes women in survivorship, their families, loved ones and other interested parties.

University of Cumbria lecturer Bridgette Wright and UHMBT breast care nurse Carol Brearley will also be talking about survivorship issues.

Jennifer Millard, honorary chairwoman of the group, said: “This is a very important issue to these ladies, because once you’re sent off from your treatment, you’re out there on your own and you’re not OK. It can take months or years before you feel right again.

“We want people to know there is life after treatment and there are things out there that can help you get back to normal.”

Have your say

This shows the commitment of Dr Parmeshwar, I it is heart warming that he his taking the time out of his busy schedule to try and make the after treatment better for patients. I hope there will be a lot of support on the day. It is a pity that Morecambe Bay Health Authority dont have the same concern for the patients of Barrow and surrounding area. it is a very hard road to travel made worse by the fact that very little of your treatment is at FGH. Yes, I made a complaint too, not about the treatment but the hundreds of miles of travel to have my treatment. Dr Parmeshwar, was the one factor in all of this that kept me in one peice and sane. I got the same response from the complaint from MBHA, after
4 months a letter as the above.

Posted by breast cancer survivor on 26 February 2013 at 22:24

well done dr pameshwar , I am very suprised this article even got printed,
the truth is that MBNHS trust is well awear that it failing to care for people after cancer surgery.
my partner was a self employed mechanic,before she had surgery her consultant asured her she would have her life back to normal. that was 4 years ago!
she did complain to the trust, 7 months later they replied with a letter that just totaly rebutted all her claims,
this is why i know the trust is just sweeping complaints under the carpet,
she could not bring herself to post this so i did,she is a victim of a realy poor nhs service and they refuse admit it.

Posted by colin on 23 February 2013 at 13:48

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