We know that not one cancer experience is the same and that this is becoming increasingly true as more people live longer with increasingly complex needs. 

By 2020, The Macmillan Living With And Beyond Cancer Programme want everyone who receives a breast, bowel or prostate cancer diagnosis to have their individual needs identified and addressed and to experience high quality, effective tailored interventions. One of the ways this will happen is to ensure that people have access to a meaningful conversation that will address their needs at diagnosis and beyond.
Macmillan is leading the way nationally in championing the importance of having a meaningful conversation with a person diagnosed with cancer.  These conversations encourage the discussion about an individual's social, physical, psychological, financial and spiritual needs (sometimes called a Holistic Needs Assessment).

The programme team have developed a short film which explains why this process, the act of having a meaningful conversation, is so important. 
When an individual hears that diagnosis of cancer it's hard to take anything else in. The team have spoken to many people affected by cancer and received lots of feedback that a conversation about their individual situation can make all the difference to their experience of treatment, into life living with and after cancer. 

The film uses case study testimony to help bring to life the difference a conversation can make. Here are some key quotes from the video: 

"Everybody's entire life is affected by their cancer diagnosis – their mental health, their physical health, their emotional wellbeing – we want to make sure that everyone is cared for at any part of their journey." ~ Anna Shaw, Macmillan Care Navigator, Aurora Centre, Worksop 

"The medical diagnosis could have scared me, but the support I've had, the guidance I've had, talking to people has helped me through that." ~ Peter Allan, Sheffield 

"You can have conversations that I perhaps wouldn't have had with other people or anywhere else" ~ Nicola Rumboll, Worksop 

"It's the things you don't realise you need, that have been brought out for me" ~ Karina Roe, Worksop 

"Sometimes you need help at the end of your treatment, which I didn't think I really needed until we have had another conversation."  "You don't always realise that you need to have that conversation, so I think it's paramount that it's promoted. And that people understand that it does make a difference" ~ Tracey Basden, Worksop 

These conversations don't just happen once, they should contribute to a care plan that be shared throughout treatment and into life living with or after cancer. 

We want to highlight the importance of having a conversation about a diagnosis of cancer that is meaningful, and contributes to a care plan that can be shared.

Our Learning and development offer 

The Macmillan Living With And Beyond Cancer Programme has developed a learning and development offer for cancer care professionals working in South and Mid Yorkshire, Bassetlaw and North Derbyshire. 

This will enable professionals to access training to develop new, or update their current, skills in supporting people affected by cancer.  Our new film forms part of this package to support professionals in improving cancer care and support. 

Please contact Richard Metcalfe, Macmillan Programme Lead for further information.