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Southampton nurses produce women's cancer guide

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Two nurses have compiled a guide to breast and gynaecological cancers, with the aim of providing a comprehensive text for patients and medical staff.

Women’s Cancers was edited by Alison Keen, a gynaecological oncology clinical nurse specialist, and Elaine Lennan, a consultant nurse in cancer care at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust.

The book aims provides clinical information alongside real-life accounts from patients, with the aim of giving nurses up-to-date clinical guidance on the causes of cancers of the breast, cervix, vulva and womb, along with information on treatment options.

There are also first-hand patient accounts of living with and treating the disease. Ms Keen told Nursing Times: “That’s what brings it alive for me – the experience of other women makes it more relevant”

Among the other issues addressed are the stages of illness, rehabilitation, survival and end of life care. The editors have also addressed concerns about related issues such as sexual function and fertility.

Ms Keen said: “Before the development of this text, there was no comprehensive reference guide for nurse specialists in gynae-oncology and no information for patients on their cancer which combined accounts of fellow patients to give them a complete overview and answers to some of their concerns.

“So, with the help of Elaine’s research on the impact of cancer and its effect on patients and their families, we decided to link with a variety of international experts to produce something that can be picked up by a clinician one day and a patient the next - but be just as useful to both.”

Each chapter is written by a clinical expert, with contributions coming from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, and the Royal Marsden Hospital. Ms Keen penned a chapter on survivorship, while Ms Elaine wrote another on lifestyle and prevention.

Women’s Cancers is published by Wiley-Blackwell and is available through

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