Cancer services

The cancer services team is a multi-disciplinary service, working closely with colleagues in other disciplines throughout the Trust and also at specialist designated centres across the sector. The multidisciplinary teams meet regularly to discuss patients’ care and treatment plans, which helps to ensure that we meet the DH targets for cancer waiting times.

Patients with suspected cancer who are given urgent cancer referrals by their GP are seen within two weeks of their referrals.

We care for a large number of cancer patients every year from those newly diagnosed through to patients cured or those requiring palliative care. We aim to deliver a high quality, individualised, comprehensive and patient-focused service by taking into account psychological and social needs, alongside medical treatment for all our cancer patients throughout their care. We ensure that our patients receive the best and most up-to-date care.

We have a Macmillan cancer information and support centre where patients can receive free information, support and benefits advice from a dedicated Macmillan Information and Support Manager.

We have implemented an acute oncology service (AOS) in line with national peer review standards. AOS service provides assessment of patients admitted to the hospital with complications due to cancer treatment.

We also have a specialist palliative care team which provides advice to patients and healthcare professionals at the Trust. The goal of specialist palliative care is to achieve the best quality of life for patients with any advanced life-limiting illness and to support their families and carers.

The specialist palliative care team provides advice on the management of physical symptoms and addresses psychosocial, emotional and spiritual needs, thus enabling the patient to maintain personal choice and dignity.

We provide many cancer services.

Changes to our services in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases across the UK, the Macmillan Information & Support Service has temporarily closed face to face enquiries to ensure visitors and staff remain safe. 
Telephone support is available only on Tuesday and Friday, till further notice: 0208 510519 between 8am – 4pm. We will continue to offer email support via madhu.agarwal@nhs.net.
Outside these days kindly leave your name and telephone number. We will return your call as soon as we can. You can also contact your cancer nurse specialist if your enquiry is urgent.

Other telephone support services
Macmillan Cancer Support: call free 0808 808 00 00 Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm for practical, emotional and financial information and advice.

Samaritans: call free 116123 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Cancer and coronavirus
For information on cancer and the coronavirus please visit:
Macmillan Cancer Support: Guidance for People with Cancer
Cancer Research UK: Talk to CRUK Nurses – Freephone 0808 800 4040

NHS website for helpful videos:

home workout-videos 
fitness studio
coronavirus covid-19 staying at home tips
Youtube videos produced by St. George’s Hospital

A Quick video guide to managing anxiety around Coronavirus

What if I am not feeling well?
If you are a Homerton Hospital cancer patient and having or have recently had chemotherapy or other anti-cancer treatment and are experiencing symptoms please call Chemotherapy Hotline 07917093738 to speak to the team for advice. You MUST seek medical advice URGENTLY

The department treating you
Our nurses, doctors and other health professionals are continuing to support people living with cancer. If you have an urgent question about your cancer care, please contact your relevant Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Patient information website links
Macmillan Cancer Support

Breast Cancer Now
Bowel Cancer UK
Oesophageal Patient Association
Ovarian Cancer Action
Prostate Cancer UK
Pancreatic Cancer UK
Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
St. Jo’s Cervical CancerTrust

Urology

We diagnose cancers of the kidney, ureters, bladder, testes, penis and prostate. We treat cancers at this hospital, although some treatments take place at other hospitals.

Making an appointment
Most patients will come into contact with our urology team after being referred by their GP. Appointments and referrals can be made by you or your GP via The Electronic Referral Service (e-RS). If necessary the GP will make a hospital appointment within two weeks.

An appointment letter will be sent explaining what will happen at the outpatients clinic appointment. Sometimes patients may be referred via our A&E department or other hospital consultants.

Routine investigations

  • ultrasound scan, uses sound waves to build up a picture of inside the body
  • CT scan, uses x-rays to take pictures of the body from different angles, they are more detailed than normal x-rays
  • cystoscopy
  • prostate biopsy, tissue is surgically removed from the suspected lump using a needle
  • blood tests, to measure PSA (prostate specific antigen) levels in the blood, high PSA can indicate problems with the prostate gland
  • urine tests, to see if there are any traces of blood in the urine
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, uses magnetic field and radio waves to build up a picture of soft tissues inside the body, instead of x-rays.

What to expect
Active monitoring takes place at Homerton, this is where the situation is monitored on a regular basis by our clinical teams, unless a patient presents any changes.
Surgery will be carried out at Homerton, St Bartholomew’s Hospital or Whipps Cross Hospital, depending on the cancer diagnosis.
Intravesical (given directly into the bladder) chemotherapy for bladder cancer is provided at Homerton, all other chemotherapy is provided at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.
Hormonethearpy, a tablet therapy for prostate cancer, is carried out at Homerton; whilst radiotherapy is undertaken at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Ongoing support
After surgery, follow up appointments are held in the outpatients department with a surgeon or oncologist, depending on the treatment plan.
Urology, stoma and palliative care clinical nurse specialists provide ongoing practical and emotional support and referral to other health care professionals where appropriate.
We have a Macmillan cancer information manager, based in our Health Shop, who provides support and advice for all patients who are diagnosed with urological cancer.

Madhu Agarwal
Macmillan cancer information and support manager
tel: 020 8510 5191

 

Palliative care

Overview
The palliative care team provides specialist palliative and end of life care to any patient living with serious or life-limiting illness (this includes patients with cancer and non-cancer diagnoses) and offers support to families and carers. We manage complex symptoms such as pain, nausea, breathing difficulties, and fatigue among others. We recognise that the spiritual, emotional, psychological, and practical worries can be as important as the physical problems, and we provide support with these aspects of care.

Palliative care can help in all stages of the illness, but it is particularly important to consider when curative treatment is no longer an option as it may help patients to live longer and more comfortably. It can be provided alongside medical care and other therapeutic treatments earlier in the stage of illness to achieve the best possible quality of life. For patients reaching the end of life, our aim is ensure that they die comfortably, with dignity, and with respect to their wishes and preferences.

Our service
Our team includes a medical consultant, a lead nurse palliative care, clinical nurse specialists, a social worker, and clinical psychologists. We are an advisory service and we cover all areas of the hospital, and Mary Seacole Nursing Home. All patients we see remain under the care of their referring medical or ward team. We work closely with other health and social care professionals including GPs, community nurses, hospital doctors, and other local hospitals and hospices to support our patients and those important to them.

Key clinical staff

Patient Information