Haematology is the study of blood and the body tissues that make it.
A haematological cancer is one affecting the blood directly or the tissues that are responsible for making it. These may include Acute or Chronic Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma or other blood disorders.
Treatments may involve chemotherapy and or radiotherapy and patients may have treatment as in-patients on one of the three in-patient wards (B7, B8 or B9) or as an out-patients. Some patients with Lymphoma may also be admitted to ward B4. The Teenage and Young Adult beds are located on wards B7 and B4. In addition the Teenage and Young Adult common area is sited on B7, though can be accessed via a lift directly from B4.
Patients may also attend the Macmillan Day Unit.
Radiotherapy for this patient group is delivered by The Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre oncology team.
Patients may also be admitted for a stem-cell transplant. The Clinical Aphersis Unit, based in the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, carry out stem-cell collections from both donors and patients.
Senior Nurse Haemato-oncology/BMT Coordinator
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
The Haematology Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS’s) offer support, advice and guidance to our Haematology patients. You will see them in the wards, Outpatient Macmillan Day Unit and in clinics. You can also contact them by telephone.
They can answer questions about your disease and treatment and help to minimise any problems you may encounter throughout your chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment. The CNS will try to maximise independence and quality of life for all our Haematology patients.
They work closely with community nurses, doctors and carers to ensure the highest quality of care can be provided at home.
Clinical Nurse Practitioner
The role of clinical nurse practitioner in the Haemato-Oncology ward is to facilitate and streamline patient care.
If a patient needs to be admitted to a ward during treatment they are likely to go to one specialising in blood cancers. The ward nurses are trained to administer chemotherapy and to look after the range of problems encountered by this group of patients.
If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan the drugs will be given by a specialist chemotherapy nurse. They will give advice on what to expect by way of any reactions to the drugs and what precautions you should take. There are chemotherapy nurses who work in the Macmillan Day Unit with specialist knowledge in looking after patients with Haematology cancer.
A member of the medical or nursing team may refer patients to see a Psychologist. A clinical health psychologist has specialist training in helping people to manage the psychological and emotional challenges which can arise during illness and treatment. Examples include:
- Anxiety and worry
- Low mood
- Adjustment issues
- Relationship concerns
- Problems taking treatment
If you are referred to a psychologist, you will be offered the opportunity to discuss your concerns and decide on the type of help most suitable for you. Psychologists do not prescribe medication but can offer a range of “talking therapies” and techniques that can help you to manage your problems.
All patients who are to undergo a transplant are seen prior to and are supported throughout the process by a dietician.
Elderly Care Liaison Service
The service has two Geriatricians Dr Kirsty Colquhoun and Dr Pamela Seenan and a dedicated CNS. They are able to:
- Carry out an assessment of your needs to make sure you get the support you require throughout your treatment and beyond
- Help you manage any other health conditions or side effects from your treatment such as pain, nausea, breathlessness and constipation
- Help with your medications and their side effects
- Provide support with mobility issues, such as unsteadiness or falls
- Help you access any other assistance when you need it in the community.
All patients who are receiving treatment will have input from a pharmacist. Working in conjunction with the doctors, their role is to identify and resolve any issues relating to any of the medications patients are currently taking, or are about to start taking.
The treatment of any blood cancer depends on the particular type. This can vary considerably from patient to patient. Treatment will vary depending on the type of blood cancer. The first stage is to diagnose the disease. This may be done either as an in-patient or as an out-patient.
A series of tests may be performed as part of this process. This may include some or all of the following: blood and urine tests, a biopsy, a bone marrow sample, x-ray, CT, MRI and or a PET scan.
Once all of the results have been looked at by the medical team a treatment plan is discussed with the patient and his family. Treatment may involve a combination of chemotherapy, radiotherapy. In some cases treatment may not need to be started immediately, this may be referred to as ‘watchful waiting’.
As part of your treatment you may be asked to participate in a clinical trial. You will be given the opportunity to consider this and information to read. Participation is voluntary and you will be asked to sign a consent form prior to entry and any treatment commencing.
If, as part of your treatment you are to receive radiotherapy you will be referred to a Consultant who specialises in this treatment. You will have an initial out-patientappointment where the treatment regime will be discussed in detail, after which you will receive your treatment appointment dates.