LauraT - Macmillan

Macmillan's cancer information

This blog will give you regular, high-quality information about cancer. We hope you find it useful. And if there's any topic you'd like us to blog about, just let us know.

Latest Entries
  • Accessible information about cancer from Macmillan

    Did you know...

    Infographic - learning needs in the UK

    With the ambition to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer, it’s important for Macmillan to develop cancer information for people with different needs. After all, cancer doesn’t discriminate. This week, we’ve added some new easy read booklets and British Sign Language videos to our website – visit macmillan.org.uk/otherformats

    We hope these new formats will go some way towards helping more people than ever before.

    Easy read PDFs

    Our 52 easy read PDFs use simple words and pictures to tell people about cancer. They were produced by CHANGE, a national human rights organisation.

    Topics include breast cancer screening, healthy eating and having chemotherapy.

    On the web page, we’ve also included links to easy read information produced by other
    organisations.

    Image of front covers of some easy read booklets about cancer

    British Sign Language videos

    We’ve launched two new videos in British Sign Language (BSL) about chemotherapy and surgery. Produced with Ramon Woolf, a BSL user and cancer patient, they were reviewed by BSL users with a cancer experience.

    Macmillan now has eight BSL videos covering the following topics:

    • Radiotherapy
    • Coping with hair loss
    • Diet and cancer
    • Financial support
    • Advanced cancer
    • Living with colon cancer
    • Chemotherapy
    • Surgery

    Still image from a BSL video about chemotherapy

    What do you think about our new accessible information? Please contact Abi Delderfield at adelderfield@macmillan.org.uk with any questions or comments.

    Sources

    1 British Institute for Learning difficulties. Learning difficulties. http://www.bild.org.uk/information/factsheets/

    2 http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/supporting-you/policy-research-and-influencing/research/access-all-areas.aspx

    3 http://www.rnib.org.uk/aboutus/research/statistics/Pages/statistics.aspx

    4 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-and-quick-statistics-for-wards-and-output-areas-in-england-and-wales/STB-2011-census--quick-statistics-for-england-and-wales--march-2011.html

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

  • The cancer info team support World’s Biggest Coffee Morning!

    Drinking coffee and eating cake whilst raising lots of money for Macmillan – what’s not to love?!

    The Cancer Information Development team has been out and about in various locations to support coffee mornings this year. Have a look at what some of our team got up to...

    Cancer Content Developer Debbie went along to Streatham Ice Rink and Leisure Centre. There was also a jumble sale and raffle there. Plus a guess-the-weight-of-the-cake.

    An image of Debbie at Streatham Ice Rink coffee morning

    Selina, our Editorial Manager, was asked to judge the best cake at the Minet Library in Myatt’s Fields. Watch out Mary Berry!

    An image of Selina judging the best cake at the Minet Library

    The judges chose this rather tasty looking lemon drizzle cake as the winner – yum!

    An image of the winning lemon drizzle cake

    Also asked to judge cakes was Senior Information Development Nurse Sue. Here she is at Bluecoats Sports Health and Fitness Club with a selection of delicious cakes – it’s a hard job but somebody had to do it...

    An image of Sue with lots of cakes at her local sports centre

    Abi, Editor, had a busy evening of baking prior to her coffee morning. She was up past midnight and her kitchen suffered a bit...

    An image of Abi's messy kitchen after a night of baking

    But it was all worth it, as the coffee morning raised £356.72!

    Here’s Abi and her sister with some pictures from the coffee morning:

    An image of Abi and her sister's coffee morning

    “Seeing someone put a £20 note in the donation box certainly brought back to me how much people value Macmillan’s support. I was proud to be there wearing a Macmillan T-shirt and telling people I work for Macmillan. Knowing that all around the country, people were doing what I was doing, enjoying a sociable morning and raising money for an important cause, was a brilliant start to the day. The food was great too!” Abi

    Managing Editor Emma attended a coffee morning at Bracknell Leisure Centre. The Centre is also home to a preschool, so there were lots of young supporters there on the day keen to sample the cake.

    An image of the young supporters at Bracknell Leisure Centre

    Emma’s daughter Poppy was also very chuffed with the Macmillan balloon that she picked up from the coffee morning.

    An image of Poppy and a Macmillan balloon

    One keen baker produced some impressive Macmillan logo cakes!

    An image of Macmillan branded butterfly cakes

    And BBC Berkshire even turned up to report on the event! The coffee morning raised around £350 – that’s £100 more than last year.

    Our Editorial Assistants Elissia and Imogen, and Senior Information Development Nurse Tracy headed to Language Connect, who translate our information into different languages. They had lots of fun with masks, while Language Connect hoped to beat their £80 target from last year.

    An image of some of the cancer info team wearing masks at the coffee morning

    Saj, Cancer Information Manager, headed to the M&S in Hemel Hempstead and even did a bit of cycling to attract potential donators and work off that cake!

    An image of Saj holding a bucket in the shopping centre

    Meanwhile, Senior Editor Sarah and Editors Marilisa and Emma went along to a coffee morning hosted by The Ritzy in Brixton.

    An image of some editors at the Ritzy cinema coffee morning

    There were lots of delicious homemade cakes, onion bhajis, quiche and brownies. They even had Macmillan’s cancer information on display.

    An image of some of the information Macmillan produce

    It’s always great to see the fruits of our labour being given out in public. We’re proud of all of our booklets and leaflets, and we hope they help those who use them.

    We had a great time at Coffee Morning this year, and we’re already looking forward to next year’s! In 2013, the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning raised over £20 million for Macmillan – let’s see how we do this year!

    The money raised will help Macmillan be there for everyone affected by cancer. It will fund nurses, the Macmillan support line, cancer support centres in hospitals, and much more. It will make sure people have the support they desperately need when they’re going through the toughest time of their life. So pats on the back all round for everyone who attended or hosted a Coffee Morning this year!

    Did you go to a Macmillan Coffee Morning or host one yourself?

    We’d love to hear what you did. Please share your stories and pictures in the comments below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

  • Changing seasons

    Written by Debbie, one of our Living with cancer editors.

    There’s a brisk chill in the morning air, a kaleidoscope of leaves on the ground and the evenings are gradually shuffling in. Some of us here in the office (myself included) are still clinging stubbornly to our summer sandals. Others have relinquished and embraced their autumn boots with gusto. At the very least, chances are your diary has cleared of BBQs, weddings, festivals and fairs.

    Many people love autumn – the colours, the nip in the air and the chance to wrap up warm and hibernate in their homes. But others may greet the cooler weather, diminishing sunlight and inevitable countdown to winter with dread.

    For people affected by cancer, particularly people who live alone, it is especially important you don’t let the change of season get you down. In fact, a change in season can often be a good time to assess your current lifestyle and instil some new healthier routines.

    Try out these tips to keep the end-of-summer blues at bay:

    Stay connected

    Don’t hide away. The end of summer shouldn’t mean the end of your social calendar. There may be fewer events organised and the weather may not be as inviting, but it is important to stay in touch with family and friends. If left unchecked, feelings of loneliness and isolation can quickly lead to feelings of anxiety and depression.

    If you are finding the change of season difficult, talk to someone about it. You can visit our online community to connect with other people affected by cancer or call the Macmillan Support Line.


    Keep active

    Being physically active is a natural mood-booster. It has also been shown to reduce symptoms and side effects, aid recovery after cancer treatment and, in some studies, reduce the chances of cancer coming back. And there is no reason why we can’t enjoy physical activity outdoors once summer is over. Autumn can be one of the most beautiful times of year and the cooler weather can make activity more pleasant.

    Walking for Health, run by Macmillan and the Ramblers, lead organised walks throughout England. Paths for All in Scotland and Let’s Walk Cymru in Wales run similar schemes. In Northern Ireland, you can contact the Physical Activity Co-ordinator in your local health trust to find out about health walks.



    Eat well

    Eating well will help you maintain or regain your strength during and after cancer treatment. Though it’s tempting to indulge in hearty, comfort foods in the colder weather, a healthy balanced diet will give you more energy and increase your sense of well-being. It can also help reduce the risk of new cancers, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.


    Plan something to look forward to

    Whether it’s a dinner with friends, a day out or a longer holiday, having something to look forward to can help to motivate us and keep us feeling positive. If you want to do something a little different, check out the Macmillan events happening near you this autumn. There is everything from challenge events to arts exhibitions. And don’t forget it’s the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning this Friday 26th September. So make sure you find a slice of cake to enjoy near you.

    Our booklet How are you feeling? discusses more ways to manage difficult feelings when you have been diagnosed with cancer.

     

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

  • The Sound of Support – Have you heard about our audiobooks?

    Would you find listening to our cancer information easier than reading it? We want everyone affected by cancer to be able to access our information, so we produce a wide range of audiobooks to support you. Our audiobooks come in clearly designed and easy-to-read packaging (see below). And better still they contain the information that you might need!



    Why try audio?

    Listening to an audiobook could be helpful if:

    • You feel very tired (fatigued) and might find it difficult to look through a booklet
    • You have a learning disability that might make reading our information more tricky
    • You have a visual impairment
    • English isn’t your first language
    • You’d simply prefer to listen than read

    Our audiobooks are very easy to navigate. They’re split into chunks (called tracks) so you can skip between them and listen to the parts you need most. They also provide all of the information that you’d find in one of our booklets, so you won’t miss out. Many of our audiobooks contain quotes from real people affected by cancer, and some even include clips of them talking about their personal experiences. As well as all this, they offer a convenient way of finding out what you need to know. You can listen wherever and whenever it suits you, whether you’re cooking or sat in the car.

    What titles can you get as an audiobook?

    Over 60 of our booklets are now available in audio format, offering you information about different types of cancer, treatments and living with and after cancer. Among our collection, you’ll find titles such as:

     

    We also have information that is exclusive to audio, like our Relax and Breathe CD.


    And if you’d like informationabout a particular cancer topic or type that we don’t already produce as an audiobook, you can request it and we’ll have it made for you. Simply call us on 0808 808 00 00 and ask for the information you’d like, or email us at cancerinformationteam@macmillan.org.uk

    We also have information available in other formats including large print, other languages and videos in British Sign Language


    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo


     

  • Breast reconstruction is not for everybody – women explore other options after a mastectomy

    Faced with the prospect of having a mastectomy, women often worry about the impact it will have on their appearance. Feeling this way is completely normal, and everyone has different ways of handling it.

    Reactions to losing a breast vary from woman to woman. Some women want to restore their breast shape and appearance through reconstruction, others prefer a breast prosthesis, and others prefer to leave their body as it is. Every woman is different.

    While lots of women choose to have breast reconstruction, some women have shown that this isn’t for them and are choosing other options instead.

    A small, but growing number of women are opting to have tattoos over or around their mastectomy scars.  Some of these women say their main reason was the chance to reclaim their bodies. The tattoo designs often have some symbolic or emotional meaning for the person as well. Other women say they feel reconstruction would be denying the effects – positive or negative – that breast cancer has had on them. There are lots of photographs of women with mastectomy tattoos on Pinterest, for example this board about mastectomy scar tattoos.

    There is also an increasing drive for acceptance of people being able to present themselves scars and all, if that’s what they want. A collaboration of Finnish fashion designers such as Elina Halttunen, a woman with only one breast herself, resulted in the Monokini 2.0 swimsuit range. These swimsuits are specifically designed for women who’ve had a mastectomy with the aim of showing that women are beautiful, whether they have two breasts or not.

    How people feel about their body after a mastectomy is a very personal thing. And while ways of dealing with it differ, all responses are equally valid. We want to hear how you feel about your experience. Whether you’ve gone for reconstruction, tattoos, scars, or simply haven’t decided yet, tell us what you think. Here at Macmillan, we think people should feel free to present themselves to the world exactly as they choose.

    If you’re still working out how you feel, or just want to find out more about this, our booklet Body image and cancer has more information on dealing with changed perceptions of yourself after cancer. You can order a free copy now:

    Front cover of Macmillan's booklet Body image and cancer

    We're with you every step of the way

    The Macmillan team is here to help. Our cancer support specialists can answer your questions, offer support, or simply listen if you need a chat. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00.

    Comments? Feel free to add them below (you need to be logged in – if you still can't see the comment box, click on this blog's title at the top).

    Keep in touch Follow Macmillan’s cancer information team on Twitter @mac_cancerinfo

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