It's not just about chemo

It's not just about chemo

  • Ben Heyworth - Macmillan Survivorship Network Manager and the LGBT and Cancer Strategy Manager
  • 30 Oct 2017

Ben Heyworth is the Macmillan Survivorship Network Manager and the LGBT and Cancer Strategy Manager at The Christie Hospital. Throughout his career Ben has supported a number of successful transformation and service improvement projects, education and training initiatives, new research, the creation of patient information resources, and effective communication strategy for living with and beyond cancer.

Living with and beyond cancer projects

I have been responsible for the development of the ‘Life Ahead Plan’, a patient-held holistic care plan for patients living with and beyond, and a number of other projects with a small team of Project Managers including ‘Plan Be’, the ‘Macmillan Virtual Multi-Disciplinary Team’, the ‘100 Voices’ project and the LGBT Cancer Support Alliance. Since 2012, I have run a forum for patient and carer involvement called the Christie Patient Reference Group, winning a Partnership Working Excellence Award from Macmillan in 2013.

I was the Chair of the Changing Prospects conference organising committee which recently won the 2015/16 award for "Contribution to the Development of Education" at The Christie.

Non-medical interventions to enhance quality of life

Following our work around Advanced Cancer with Dr. Mike Leahy on the ‘Plan Be’ project, we both felt we could develop a ‘Changing Prospects for Advanced Cancer’ Study Day to look at some of the topics, issues and controversies that grew from this piece of work.

Whether or not a patient with advanced stage cancer chooses to have chemotherapy, there are a wide variety of other “non-medical” interventions in which they could also engage.

We will explore how “non-medical” interventions can promote quality of life and wellbeing in patients with advanced cancer, and how these can be best delivered within the envelope of existing resources.

We will focus on elements of an optimal care package including looking at the physical activity, diet, complementary therapies, resilience and hope, patient self-activation and empowerment, , the ethics surrounding alternative and unproven treatments, and the shifting role of medical therapies.

An effective care package

During the day we will deconstruct the elements of an effective care package for patients with advanced stage cancer as well as the principles of self-activation including effective care planning, monitoring and clinical communication. We will also investigate the patient experience of living with advanced stage cancer and consider the ethics surrounding the contribution of some holistic and alternative therapies in delivering better clinical outcomes.

Who will be attending

A range of professionals will benefit from attending this study day, including oncologists, nurses, allied health professionals, students, and academics.

This event is also suitable for patients and carers, and we welcome their attendance and contribution. People affected by cancer who wish to attend this event should contact the Christie School of Oncology in the first instance as funded places may be available.

Hear more about the study day below:

I hope you will join me on 27th November click here to book your place

Last updated: October 2021