Support in the Isle of Man

A Cancer Diagnosis…

Being told that you have cancer can leave you feeling a variety of emotions – shocked, numb, frightened….

Your Consultant, Clinical Nurse Specialist and GP can explain more about your cancer diagnosis, and answer any questions you may have.

The Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service (in the main entrance of Noble’s Hospital) is a good place to get further information about your particular cancer type.

Often there are loads of medical terms used when talking about cancer – if you don’t know what they mean, ask!

You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you receive when you are diagnosed…

Ask the health professionals looking after you to write down the key points in your IOM Cancer Patient Binder 2018. You can read this again after your appointment and it can help when talking to others about your diagnosis.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions. Use the support available to you – don’t feel you have to face this alone

Here are some practical tips to consider when talking about your cancer diagnosis:

  • Use the patient information pack to write down any questions you want to ask – this way you won’t forget anything important.
  • Bring a family member or friend along to your appointments. They can help with asking questions, providing support, and being an extra pair of ears to recall what was said.
  • If you don’t understand anything, ask your health professional to explain – don’t be embarrassed to ask!
  • Encourage your health professional to write down key information discussed for you to refer back to later.
  • Think about what matters most to you – share any concerns or worries with your healthcare team, then they will understand what is important to you.

Some people find it helps to write down their feelings about what is happening – you can use the patient diary in whatever way helps you best

Below are some common questions that are asked:

  • What does my diagnosis mean?
  • What happens next?
  • Will my cancer spread?
  • What tests and treatments will I have?
  • What choices will I have about my treatment?
  • Where will I have my treatment?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • How successful is the treatment likely to be?
  • Will I still be able to work?
  • Is there any support for my family?

Remember, your healthcare team may not know all the answers to your questions immediately.

Often, definite answers are not possible.  With cancer treatment, there is often a lot of uncertainty.

Sometimes you will not remember everything you want to ask.

Sometimes you will think of more questions after your appointment.

Don’t panic – you will get more than one chance to ask questions!

Use the support available from the team looking after you. You have the right to receive as much or as little information as you want – they are there to help you understand about your cancer diagnosis and treatment options.

There are many organisations who support people affected by cancer (and their families/friends). You can find more information about the range of support available in the Useful Contact section of the patient information pack. Alternatively, the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service can help guide you to sources of support.

Support from the MCISS

We hope you find the information that you need. If there is anything you can’t find, please contact the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service (MCISS).

They can be found at the Main Entrance to Noble’s Hospital in Douglas, and are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm. You can contact them by phone on 01624 650735 or email them.