Access a range of services
Receiving a diagnosis of cancer can be a stressful time for you and those important to you. We want to let you know that there is support available for you; in person, by telephone, and online. We want you to know that there is always someone to talk to about how you’re feeling.
There are many services available to support you with this, including:
- Support for family and friends – Caring for someone with a diagnosis can be difficult and can affect people’s own health, mental well-being, working life, and relationships, it is important to seek help and support for yourself, as a family carer”
- Emotional support and wellbeing – Cancer changes our lives and we need to regain our confidence, manage our stress and deal with our emotional difficulties
- Financial support – A diagnosis of has a financial impact on everyone involved. Advice available includes accessing financial benefits, applying for grants, help with prescriptions costs, help with transport to hospital and parking costs”
- Support with dietary advice – Eating the right kinds of foods with the important nutrients the body needs before, during, and after treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger, expert dietary advice is available if required
Cancer Information Toolkit
You do not have to face cancer alone. Our Cancer Information Toolkit can help signpost you to information, help and support for every step of the cancer journey. The toolkit features useful links, key contact information and helpful resources and information so you can find the information that you need, when you need it.
Psychological and wellbeing support
There are a number of organisations in Norfolk and Waveney offering psychological and wellbeing support to people affected by cancer and their supporters.
Local cancer support
Patient Representative User Groups
Patients, carers, and companions can help make positive changes and help improve local cancer services by giving patient’s a voice through their feedback and help the NHS improve services.
There are three cancer patient user groups within Norfolk and Waveney based at the three acute hospitals. They work in partnership alongside the clinical and non-clinical staff to improve patient experience.
If you would like help or would like to be part of one of the, please contact your area representative: advice within your area or would like to be part of one of the groups, please contact your representative in your local area as below:
West Norfolk – The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn
Central Norfolk – Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals
East Norfolk and Waveney – James Paget University Hospitals
Together Against Cancer (TAC) | 01603 647722 | TAC@jpaget.nhs.uk
Other Support in Norfolk & Waveney
Big C Cancer Charity – Information, help and support to anyone affected by cancer across Norfolk
Little Lifts – An organisation supporting women across Norfolk and Waveney who have or have had breast cancer
Norfolk and Waveney Prostate Cancer Support – Supporting patients and families through prostate cancer across Norfolk and Waveney
The Pear Tree Centre – The Pear Tree Fund – A warm and welcoming one-stop-shop which offers support and information in Halesworth
Kingsmen prostate group – A support group in King’s Lynn that supports men following a prostate cancer diagnosis
Cancer Connect (free tablet devices)
NHS Norfolk and Waveney and Norfolk Libraries and Information Service (NLIS) run an initiative to gift people affected by cancer with a tablet computer that will connect them to medical appointments, further information and support networks, as well as enabling them to keep in touch with friends and family in this difficult and isolating time.
To qualify for the scheme individuals need to have had:
- Have a diagnosis of cancer
- Be over 18
- Live in Norfolk and Waveney
- Having no/limited access to the internet
- Have no suitable device
If you think you qualify for this scheme, please call the library on 01603 774777. If you have an email account you can also information: email@example.com.
Macmillan Cancer Care Navigators across Norfolk and Waveney
Macmillan Cancer Care Navigators work alongside Clinical Nurse Specialists to help and support people affected by cancer with their non-clinical needs. These teams are funded jointly by Macmillan Cancer Support and NHS Norfolk and Waveney.
Find out more about this service or ask your Clinical Nurse Specialist.
Signs and symptoms of cancer
Cancer is a condition where cells in a specific part of the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. Once these areas get bigger, depending upon where they are, they might be felt as a lump or cause other symptoms such as a cough. If not caught early, the cancerous cells can invade and destroy surrounding healthy tissue, including organs. It sometimes begins in one part of the body before spreading to other areas. This process is known as metastasis. 1 in 2 people will develop some form of cancer during their lifetime. In the UK, the 4 most common types are:
There are more than 200 different types, and each is diagnosed and treated in a particular way. You can find links on this page to information about other types of cancer.
Earlier diagnosis means it is more likely that patients will receive curable treatments.
At the moment only around 1 in 2 people in the UK are diagnosed at an early stage. Earlier and faster diagnosis is dependent on people understanding and being aware of the early signs and symptoms, by taking up screening programmes or visiting a healthcare professional.
One of the ways we can achieve this will be to help the public understand some of the signs and symptoms of possible cancer and helping GPs to refer patients for diagnostic tests.
Around four in ten cancers could be prevented largely through lifestyle changes. For ideas on how to get more active, visit Active Norfolk, Feel Good Suffolk, and Moving Medicine. Smoking accounts for one in four UK cancer deaths and can cause at least 15 types of cancer. If you would like help to quit smoking see the links below:
You can find a series of videos to help you find reliable health and wellbeing information online. Topics include finding mental health resources on websites such as the NHS and MIND, reliable information online about physical activity and adult and children’s sleep. View the videos on YouTube. or check out Norfolk Libraries Health and Wellbeing online resources.
A selection of screening videos from West Yorkshire and Harrogate, Health and Care Partnership can be found below. These are applicable for screening in Norfolk and Waveney:
Click on a box below to reveal further information.
- Cancer services at our hospitals
- Cancer services in neighbouring counties
Clinical trials are medical research studies that are an important part of finding better treatments in diseases such as cancer. They are also used to develop prevention and screening programmes and to evaluate the best ways to make diagnoses. They are necessary to extend medical knowledge and to improve treatments and care. Doctors also use the results from clinical trials when they advise on current treatments.
The main priority of the medical team looking after you is to offer you the best treatment and care. This may be through a clinical trial.
If you do agree to take part in a clinical trial, you will be very regularly and carefully monitored.
If you'd to take part in a clinical trial and would like more information you will find some information on the Cancer Research UK website.
Watch our video on taking part in clinical trials.
Read the Cancer Research UK NHS-Galleri Trial Briefing for Primary and Secondary Care Clinicians.
Definition of cancer terms and roles
You can find a full list of terms relating to cancer here.
Further links and support
Cancer Body Site Information
Other support links
Healthy lifestyle options
- Local media coverage
Patient feedback and how to get involved
We really want to hear about your experiences of cancer care in Norfolk and Waveney. You can do this via local Patient Advice and Liaison Services or PALS.
You can also give feedback via the three cancer service user groups based at the main hospitals.
If you would like to make a complaint about a problem with your care, you can contact the PALS and Complaints department of where you received your treatment, or alternatively you can contact the NHS Ombudsman by telephone: 0800 345 7115 or by visiting their website: patients-association.org.uk. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your feedback is related to your GP Surgery then please visit their website for information on how to give feedback. You can also feedback through your local Patient Participation Group (PPG) details will be on your GP Practice website.
Prevention of digital exclusion
Digital Health Hub
Norfolk Libraries Digital Health Hub supports people to gain digital skills so that they can access reliable health information for long term conditions, and learn how to use GP online services, search the NHS website and look at the NHS App.
Sign up for a short 1-to-1 session:
Support may be offered online during COVID-19 restrictions, but this would normally take place in a Norfolk library during library opening hours.
If you have an immediate medical need, please use the 111 service or call your GP.
We also have a series of videos to help you find reliable health and wellbeing information online. Topics include finding mental health resources on websites such as the NHS and MIND, reliable information online about physical activity and adult and children's sleep. Click here to view the videos on YouTube or visit the Norfolk Libraries Health and Wellbeing online resources.
What can you expect from your cancer service?
Cancer during COVID-19 - an update from the Cancer Alliance
Questions and answers on cancer care during COVID-19 from the Cancer Alliance (As of 12 January 2021)
How will I be referred to the hospital if I have worrying symptoms?
If you have worrying symptoms your GP will refer you to the hospital on a “two-week wait” this is a request for an urgent assessment from a hospital specialist Dr because you have symptoms that could be suggestive of cancer. It does not mean you have cancer, but cancer needs to be ruled out. Detecting cancer early improves your chances of surviving.
Your first contact from the hospital may be a virtual consultation or appointment for further tests. It is important that you attend any appointments and tests so that a diagnosis can be made quickly. If you have not heard from the hospital within three weeks of seeing your GP, it is wise to check that that the referral is being dealt with and your tests have been booked.
Follow this link for further information about how to get what you want out of a virtual consultation with your Dr or nurse.
If your condition improves, it is still essential to do all the relevant tests so cancer can be ruled out. Your hospital specialist team of Drs and nurses will guide you. Similarly, if your condition is rapidly getting worse, you must contact the GP or your specialist Dr.
When the tests have been done, the hospital specialist Dr or nurse will tell you the results and discuss any treatment needed if cancer has been identified. If there is no cancer, your care will go back to your GP or you may be referred to another specialist team if needed. If you continue to have symptoms, you must seek further help from your GP Practice.
How will I be supported during my cancer care?
All people affected by cancer are given a cancer nurse specialist to speak to. You will be given their contact details by the hospital staff.
How will my care needs be assessed?
During your cancer journey you will be invited to complete a Holistic Needs Assessment (HNA) covering all aspects of your physical and mental well-being; so appropriate help and support can be given to you.
Will I receive a care plan?
Any concerns you raise after completing a Holistic Needs Assessment, will be discussed with you and your Care Plan will be agreed, with positive ways to move forward, which may include directing to other support as required.
What should I do if I am experiencing worrying symptoms from my cancer treatment?
Worrying symptoms can be addressed by your GP practice. If you have worrying symptoms, here are some examples.
If you are receiving treatment for cancer and are experiencing side effects or feeling unwell each hospital has a 24/7 telephone helpline for advice in this situation. This is called the Acute Oncology Service (AOS) and you should have a yellow card with the telephone number on it to ring.
If you need more information, please email the Cancer Transformation Team: email@example.com