At Cancer Research UK, we get questions from the public all the time. Many come from people who are worried about getting cancer; others from those who have it themselves; more come from people with a close friend or relative with the disease.
It’s in response to these concerns that we set up our comprehensive patient information website. But alongside this, we also have a team of Cancer Information Nurses who respond to telephone and email enquiries.
The nurses answer questions about all aspects of the cancer experience, from warning signs, through investigations and tests, to treatment options and what happens afterwards. And they don’t shy away from difficult questions about prognosis or death and dying. Last year, they responded to 10,500 enquiries.
All our nurses are experts. As well as having extensive previous “hands on” experience looking after cancer patients, they all keep up to date with developments in cancer treatments. Being a research charity, our nurses get quite a few questions about clinical trials – especially after high-profile media stories. But they get asked about absolutely everything and anything to do with cancer.
So we thought that it might be interesting and helpful if we did a ‘day of tweets’ from the service, using the Cancer Research UK twitter feed – you can follow this on Thursday 7th July at www.twitter.com/CR_UK. We hope that this will give anyone who decides to follow us for the day a real sense of the variety of questions we get, and an insight into what it feels like to be a Cancer Information Nurse.
As well as following the tweets, if you’re not on Twitter you can read more about the service and watch a short video about us.
Don’t forget – you can call the nurses on freephone 0808 800 4040 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday if you have any questions about cancer. Please do pass the number on to any friends or relatives who might need to use us too.
Martin Ledwick is head of Cancer Research UK’s Information Nurse service
UPDATE: Have a look at the Storify widget below to see how the day went: