Cancer prevention week (from today,14 May), organised by World Cancer Research Fund UK (WCRF), will see many charities and organisations promote the work they are doing towards the fight against cancer.
And Kent Oncology Centre at Maidstone Hospital is no exception.
With 10,000 new outpatients in the last year (April 2011 to March 2012) and over 70,500 individual treatments given in the same period, not to mention ongoing clinical research and a national award under its belt, the centre has a lot to be proud of.
The Kent Oncology Centre at Maidstone Hospital, has a day unit at Tunbridge Wells Hospital along with the other main centre at Canterbury, and provides comprehensive cancer services for the 1.8 million population of Kent, Medway and East Sussex.
The oncology team comprises of Consultant Oncologists, Consultant Haemato-oncologists, and a large team of therapy radiographers, oncology nurses, clinical nurse specialists and other allied health professionals including physiotherapists, dieticians, occupational therapists, counsellors, care managers, secretaries and Management support teams.
Treatment facilities include two CT and one conventional simulator for radiotherapy planning, and nine Linear Accelerators providing the only radiotherapy facilities in Kent - six at Maidstone and three at Canterbury. There is also equipment for specialist radiotherapy.
There is a day case unit on the Charles Dickens Ward, our Haematology and Oncology Day Unit (HODU) at Tunbridge Wells and one inpatient ward, based at Maidstone Hospital.
And alongside all of this, the Clinical Trials Unit based in the Kent Oncology Centre currently have a portfolio which, wherever possible, offers a trial for all types of cancers and includes different modalities of treatment. These trials will provide invaluable information to assist cancer treatment in both the present and future.
In the last year, 463 cancer patients took part in clinical trials across the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells sites.
The Clinical Trials Unit works in close collaboration with the Kent & Medway Cancer Research Network. This allows Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust to deliver a greater depth of studies, enabling ‘tomorrow’s treatments today’ for our local patients. For more information on Cancer Clinical Trials visit www.kentmedwaycancernetwork.nhs.uk
In addition, last November, The Kent Oncology Centre radiotherapy team were awarded the prestigious Pfizer Excellence in Oncology Award in the Best Patient Support Initiative category at the annual National Cancer Research Institute conference. They took the prize for their Breast Radiotherapy DVD which explains in simple straightforward terms how breast radiotherapy is carried out, what it’s purpose is and what any possible side effects might be.
Kent Oncology Centre also works very closely with Macmillan Cancer Support. Macmillan has supported the centre in a number of ways, from funding posts and training staff, to providing practical and financial support to patients, relatives and carers. Recently, Macmillan has funded three new Clinical Nurse Specialist posts and they also helped to fund and develop the Macmillan Information and Support Centre situated in Radiotherapy. The Centre has been running for more than four years and provides information, advice and emotional support to people affected by cancer.
Dr Stewart Coltart, Divisional and Clinical Director for Cancer Services said:
“We are very proud of the Kent Oncology Centre and the ongoing work that it does. We have state of the art equipment, excellent facilities and dedicated staff so we can provide the best possible care for cancer patients in our area.”
For more information about Kent Oncology Centre, please visit www.kentoncologycentre.nhs.uk
As part of Cancer Awareness Week, the WCRF have promoted tips for healthy living. They advise eating a healthy plant-based diet, regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight.
For further information please contact Gianna Pollero-Payne, Communications Manager, on 01622 225858