Play aims to aid improvements to cancer care

22nd May 2018

A powerful play exploring the journey of five women with breast cancer is to be performed at Sheffield Hallam University as part of an event that aims to further improve the experience and care of patients living with and beyond cancer Members of the public are invited to watch 'A Space for Sharing' by the Dead Earnest Theatre Company, which follows the lives of women diagnosed with breast cancer who find friendship, camaraderie and support online.

The performance marks the start of a national healthcare conference hosted by Sheffield Hallam University and delivered in partnership with Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, University of Sheffield and Sheffield Innovation and Research in Oncology Nursing (SIRON), in which healthcare professionals from across the country will meet to discuss new and innovative ways to measure and improve the experiences of people affected by cancer during and after treatment. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled in the last 40 years with 50 percent of those affected by cancer are now surviving for ten years or more. As more patients survive cancer, there is greater relevance in understanding and measuring the patient experience during and after treatment. Heidi Probst, professor of radiotherapy and oncology in Sheffield Hallam's Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, who herself is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, said: "When a patient is given a diagnosis of cancer they often report experiences of disempowerment, and lack of control. Cancer research has been dominated by studies that focus on the measurement of survival and control of the cancer as new treatments are tested; these endpoints are hugely important. "However, as more patients are now surviving for longer there is a greater need to focus on the impact that cancer treatment has on the patient's quality of life, ability to undertake their normal activities and their ability to return to work. Patient input to the development of cancer services is critical as is research that measures patient experience so patients can be put at heart of services and care can be improved further. "This conference will bring together practitioners and researchers to discuss innovative ways of involving patients in monitoring side effects of treatment, and in understanding the overall experience of care so that services and care can be further improved. Professor Diana Greenfield, Macmillan consultant nurse at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said: -We would like to thank Weston Park Cancer Charity for supporting this public engagement initiative so that we can increase awareness of the cancer patient experience with health care professionals who provide services to people with cancer, with students who are tomorrow's healthcare workforce, and importantly, with the general public. The performance is free and open to the public, taking place on Friday 1 June at 6pm in the University's Owen Building on its City Campus. Click here to book a place.

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