A ground-breaking new service offering one-to-one cancer support to people in Dundee has reached more than 100 people.
The Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service, launched in November last year, ensures local cancer patients are offered emotional, practical and financial support.
With the city having a higher than average incidence of all main cancers, the service aims to help patients cope with diagnosis by offering up a meeting with a dedicated one-to-one support worker.
The worker helps the patient access a wide range of assistance, from benefits advice and emotional support to help at home or with other practical needs.
The initiative is a joint venture between Macmillan and the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership (DHSCP) — as well as other partners.
Michelle Selvey, a support facilitator with the project, said the service has been a “lifeline” for people living with cancer in the city.
She said: “Almost everyone we’ve met has told us that we’ve come into their lives just when they needed us and didn’t know where else to turn for information and support.
“By asking people what matters most to them and taking a person-centred approach, we’ve been able to provide help with worries about money, much-needed emotional support and help people to feel able to face the future”.
The service now plans to build on the success it has had so far in reaching people living and affected by cancer and improve outcomes for people it works with.
It is open to everyone aged 18 and over living with cancer, regardless of their cancer type or where they live in the city.
Chairman of the DHSCP integrated joint board, councillor Ken Lynn, said the service is making a difference to people’s lives.
He said: “Cancer is a condition that affects so many people with numbers increasing each year. By 2030, one in two of us can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some time in our lives.
“Dundee is a city with higher than average incidence of all main cancers. There are expected to be over 8000 city residents living with cancer by 2030.
“The good news is that, with advances in treatment, more people than ever are surviving and people who are living with cancer are often living longer.
“We know that the impact of cancer does not suddenly stop when the treatment is over.
“People often have to deal with the long-term effects of treatment or other health conditions that can have a huge impact on health, wellbeing and independence.
“Many of them often don’t know where to go for help coping with the impact it can have on their lives beyond the physical effects. This is where the Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service is making a difference.”