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Taking The Stress Out Of Radiotherapy

19th Apr 2016

We know that lots of patient’s value and benefit from the complementary therapies offered in Beatson Cancer Charity’s renowned Wellbeing Centre. But in a ground-breaking pilot study, The Beatson trialled new ways to maximises the benefit of these therapies. Maureen Thomson, Consultant Radiographer and Beatson Cancer Charity Board member, tell us why:

"The Beatson treats around 400 head and neck cancer patients every year. Treatments for these patients can be particularly traumatic, involving the wearing of a mask for radiotherapy and chemoradiotherpy sessions. The extreme anxiety this causes had led to people delaying or disrupting their treatment, or needing medication to calm them.

In a ground-breaking pilot study at The Beatson, the stress levels of 83 head and neck cancer patients were assessed and 11 people were identified with especially high levels of anxiety. These patients were the offered a range of therapies, including hypnotherapy and reflexology, at Beatson Cancer Charity’s Wellbeing Centre."

The Result? A less stressful cancer journey

"Every single one of the patients involved in the trial completed their treatment as planned, with no delays or disruption – and without the need for medication to ease their anxiety. As a consequence, we are developing in-house training for all the clinical staff at the Beatson to help them manage distress in cancer patients using complementary therapies.

Maureen Thomson, Consultant Radiographer

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