Maria Leadbeater

The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer tile

Book review: The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer

Maria Leadbeater reviews The Complete Guide to Breast Cancer

Abbreviated MRI of the Breast_tile

Book review: Abbreviated MRI of the Breast: A Practical Guide

Informative reference book written from a US perspective

Breast Cancer Diagnostic Imaging and Therapeutic Guidance

Book review: Breast Cancer: Diagnostic Imaging and Therapeutic Guidance

Macmillan cancer information and support service lead Maria Leadbetter reviews this guidance to therapeutic care

Compassion: The Essence of Palliative and End-of-Life Care

Given recent media reports of uncaring nursing practices, the subject of compassion has become more important than ever

Pain is Really Strange

The physiology of pain can be an arduous subject but this illustrated book explains the symptoms and pathways of pain in an imaginative way, which makes it easy to read and enjoy.

Services for women with metastatic breast cancer in the US

This article describes the experience of a nurse on an educational travel scholarship to a cancer centre in New York. She observed nurses treating patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiotherapy, in specialist roles not dissimilar to those in the NHS. She found many similarities between the UK service and US health care, but notes that electronic record keeping is more prevalent in the US. She also attended a conference organised by a patient advocacy organisation in Baltimore. The article aims to encourage others to consider visits to overseas units or organisations relevant to their work through travel scholarships.

Treatment and care of patients with metastatic breast cancer

This article provides an overview of the treatment options available for patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. The article focuses on the four common organ sites affected by metastatic breast cancer, including the bone, lungs, liver and brain. The implications for nursing care are addressed, highlighting common side effects of treatment and frequent areas of concern for patients.

Providing appropriate information about the risk of recurrence of breast cancer

When primary breast cancer is diagnosed, judging the level of information to provide to patients about cancer spread is difficult, but women need information to aid their understanding of the rationale behind treatment. Providing appropriate advice about each woman’s individual risk of recurrence and secondary cancer is a complex area but is an issue women need to understand as part of making informed decisions about their treatment, in addition to making the person aware of any symptoms that may develop and that they need to report. Many women have questions about their follow up and an unexpected issue raised by women recently was lack of understanding about breast cancer spreading beyond the breast. Breast Cancer Care (2008) published Your Follow-up After Breast Cancer, which aims to clarify and address some of the issues commonly raised by women.

Living with secondary breast cancer

Women living with secondary breast cancer (SBC) have a strong need for information about many aspects of their illness. The isolation experienced by many women can add to their difficulties. Bringing women together on organised ‘Living with Secondary Breast Cancer (LWSBC)’ days was shown to improve their understanding of their illness, ways they could manage the symptoms and the varied issues they will encounter. Many women attending the day had not spoken to anyone else with SBC and found that talking to others in a similar situation very beneficial. Breast Cancer Care is aware that services for women living with secondary breast cancer can vary hugely throughout the UK and has identified this as an area where a range of support services are needed. The LWSBC days offer the opportunity for unique support and information which can be developed further.

The diet dilemma for women with breast cancer

A Breast Cancer Care online survey shows that over 50 per cent of women with breast cancer had made changes to their diet as a result of being diagnosed, yet fewer than 5 per cent had received any dietary advice from health professionals (Breast Cancer Care 2003). However, women with breast cancer rarely have the opportunity to discuss diet in detail with healthcare professionals, and dietitians are not represented in the multidisciplinary teams that plan an individual’s care and treatment. This article addresses what nurses should know about diet and breast cancer.

Information needs of patients with cancer

Aim To establish the amount of information patients were given at their initial diagnosis of cancer, what information was beneficial and if there were any individual factors that made patients have different information needs. Method Ten recently diagnosed patients were interviewed using a structured format to establish their understanding of the information given at the time of diagnosis. Results Patients who suspected their diagnosis or who had been prepared were able to understand and retain this information. In contrast, those who did not suspect or who had not been prepared in any way were unable to take in the information initially. Conclusion The patient’s level of preparation should be established by the healthcare professional before the diagnosis is given.