Stories from New Zealanders diagnosed with cancer, and from those providing treatment and support.
Working for a small District Health Board (DHB) in which patients are seen and treated on both sides of the Southern Alps means that West Coast Cancer Care Coordinator Andrea Reilly has a considerably different role from her colleagues around the country.
‘Before now there wasn’t anyone to be with people before they started their treatment - but I am now providing the information and reassurance that they need from the outset.’
The x-ray detected the possibility of cancer in one of Maggie’s lungs. Within two weeks she had an appointment at the Respiratory Fast Track Clinic at Dunedin Hospital for people with suspected lung cancer.
Patients suspected of having lung cancer are being diagnosed earlier at Dunedin Hospital thanks to the introduction of Respiratory Fast Track Clinics. This one-stop-shop approach brings together a multi-disciplinary team who can carry out all required lung cancer assessments in one day.
‘It’s a really patient-centred way of working, Patients can come from long distances and it’s much better for them to go through the whole process in one day.’
The day after Ann Ah Sam had a colonoscopy in January 2014, Andrea Reilly arrived at her home with the results, information about colorectal cancer and an offer to support her through her treatment.