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Cancer Research study shows importance of patient helpline services

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Cancer patients primarily reach out to helplines to gain a better understanding of their condition as well as to make informed choices for treatment, according to a new study.

Findings from Cancer Research UK’s survey of helpline and email services showed that 63% of people suffering with cancer use the service to have a particular question they have in mind answered by healthcare professionals.

A further 46% communicate with helpline nurses to get more information regarding their circumstances and also for support. Just more than a tenth (11%) claimed to use the service to gain insight about the cancer to help them decide on the most suitable treatment for them.

The results of the poll outlines the importance of having a helpline service which patients can access for advice and information, it is believed.

“It’s incredibly important that patients can make informed decisions. It’s easy to assume that people with cancer ask for information mainly to help them do this,” said Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head information nurse.

“But this survey showed that many people who contact us have a fundamental need to understand their situation which is not related to making a choice.”

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