Supportive care

We recognise that cancer can affect much more than just your physical health. For many people, the diagnosis of cancer, combined with the side effects of treatment, can be a huge upheaval that will affect every aspect of their lives.

At The Rutherford Cancer Centre, we aim to provide holistic support to patients throughout their treatment. We will offer easy access to supportive therapies that will be provided in-house at our centre. These could include access to: physiotherapy, dietetic services, reflexology and counselling.

Your care team

Your care team is here to support you throughout your treatment and beyond. The team is always available should you wish to talk to them about your feelings and ask them any questions you may have. They can provide advice and support about your treatment and diagnosis, managing your side effects, leading a healthy lifestyle as well as information about accessing practical support during and after treatment.

Informing you about your treatment

Your care team will provide you and your family with detailed information about radiotherapy and your specific treatment. They will monitor you closely throughout your treatment and intervene to help manage any side effects whether they are medical or not. You will also be able to talk through your treatment and discuss any concerns in a confidential setting or, if you prefer, over the telephone on 01633 740 005.

A holistic approach

In addition to providing expert advice about your treatment at the centre, our care team can offer their support to help you lead a healthy lifestyle both during and after your treatment. With strong links to other healthcare professionals, they will help you access any practical support that you may need and can put you in touch with community services that may be useful to you.

Your care plan

As part of your treatment at The Rutherford Cancer Centre, you will receive an individualised care plan. As well as containing general information about radiotherapy and more specific information about your treatment, your care plan will include information about the supportive care on offer to you.

Holistic needs assessment

Your care plan will be informed by a Holistic Needs Assessment, which will be carried out by a specialist member of our care team. The Holistic Needs Assessment is a simple questionnaire that’s designed to help us identify the most important issues for you at any given time. It will help us develop a care and support plan that is tailored to your needs. The assessment is not compulsory and deciding not to have the assessment will not affect your care in any way.

End of treatment care plan

After your treatment at The Rutherford Cancer Centre has ended, your care team will work with you to create an end of treatment care plan. This will include information about the late side effects you may experience from your treatment and advice on how best to manage these. Just because your treatment has ended, it doesn’t mean that the support you receive from our staff will end too. Our care team are only a phone call away if you have any questions or you’d like to discuss any aspect of your treatment and aftercare.

Radiotherapy

The radiotherapy treatment comes from an electrical machine called a ‘Linear accelerator’ and is directed as a beam to the part of the body that needs to be treated. Treatment is given daily over a period of days or weeks and you may hear people call these treatments ‘fractions’. They are just a fraction of your treatment dose and plan.

Chemotherapy

The Rutherford Care centre chemotherapy suite consists of up to 10 treatment areas offering treatment for haematology/oncology patients requiring systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT) and supportive care in an outpatient setting. Treatment for breast, urology, upper and lower gastrointestinal, and both malignant and non-malignant haematology disorders is offered.

Proton beam therapy

Proton therapy is used today to treat many cancers and is particularly appropriate in situations where treatment options are limited or conventional radiotherapy presents an unacceptable risk to the patient. These situations include eye and brain cancers, tumors close to the brain stem, spinal cord or other vital organs, prostate cancers, recurring cancers and paediatric cancers. Proton beam therapy will be available from early 2018 in our South Wales centre.