St Albans hospice Grove House says breast cancer cases are falling

BREAST cancer deaths have fallen since the 1980s according to recent research carried out by the British Medical Journal.

A review of over 30 countries showed that the UK rate had dropped by about a third as a result of better care and speedier diagnosis. The number of UK deaths caused by breast cancer fell to 28.2 per 100,000 – equivalent to 12,000 deaths per year.

Louise Miller of Grove House said: “This is encouraging news for anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Early diagnosis and improved treatments are giving more women the opportunity to survive this disease.

“Here at Grove House we support cancer survivors, we help them to come to terms with a cancer diagnosis – we can support them through treatment and help them move on in their lives. Our Cancer the Next Step course has been specifically designed to support those moving on from cancer – all types of cancer.”

Ros Thomas, who coordinates the Cancer the Next Step programme at Grove House, said: “Cancer the Next Step is an innovative eight-week course designed to help patients accept their diagnosis, put it into context and learn to live life through and after cancer.

“It provides emotional as well as practical support in a group setting or on a one-to-one basis. Participants benefit from talking to one another in a safe and confidential environment and they enjoy complimentary therapies to help with relaxation or sleep problems. There is also the opportunity to access up-to-date, accurate and relevant information.”

Ex Cancer the next Step participant, Sheri Warren, speaks warmly of her time at Grove House. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, it was a huge shock and it was hard to know where to turn. My family were a tremendous support, but it was such a bonus to come to Grove House every week.

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“The hospice is a bright and cheery place, alive and happy. When I was there it felt like special time for me, I was spoilt and cooked for and looked after. I turned my phone off and concentrated on me for a change! Talking to other people in similar circumstances and sharing our experiences helped me feel I was not alone in what I was going through. I made some great friends and even now the course has finished we are still getting together regularly.”

The Cancer the Next Step programme at Grove House is now in its 10th year, it is a free service and the benefits to cancer survivors are enormous with many of the participants continuing to meet up long after the course is finished. For further information phone Ros on 01727 731026.