My Time Our Time: Supporting advanced breast cancer awareness
Apr 30, 2018
With one of the broadest portfolios and largest number of advanced breast cancer (ABC) compounds in development, breast cancer is a priority for Novartis. We also recognise that patient care is more than offering a treatment. For this reason, we call on our 30-year heritage and expertise as industry leaders in breast cancer to contribute to the progress of how women living with this disease are supported in their day to day lives.
My Time Our Time is an ongoing campaign supported by Novartis that aims to raise awareness of the everyday realities for women living with ABC and bring to life the importance of their time, to help them feel valued and understood.
Novartis is proud to partner with ABC specialist nurses and women living with this challenging disease from across the UK, to share personal insights in to their experiences of ABC, as well as tips to the community to help support them in making the most of their time each and every day.
What does time mean to you? Join the conversation using the hashtag #MyTimeOurTime and help raise the voice of women living with ABC.
Top tips from our nurses and patients:
A glimpse into living with ABC
Watch this inspiring film to hear from Claire Myerson who shares an insight into life of living with ABC and her new perspective on the concept of time.
Meet our ABC specialist nurse partners and find out how they value, support and empower their patients in their day to day work. Each nurse also shares a particularly useful tip, aimed at helping support those living with ABC
Dr Elaine Tomlins - Consultant Nurse at University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Elaine Tomlins has over 30 years nursing experience and as a specialist in the treatment of advanced breast cancer care, is adamant that ‘incurable’ does not mean ‘untreatable’. Elaine notes:
“Treatments for advanced breast cancer are varied and although living with uncertainty is always difficult - you must carry on and truly live your life.
Big changes are not always necessary and remember that your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is there to support you and your family the entire time.”
Dr Victoria Harmer - Macmillan Consultant Nurse (breast) at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
Dr Victoria Harmer, a consultant nurse for breast cancer in London, highlights how more and more is gradually being found out about how best we can help and improve quality of life for women with ABC and their carers/family. Regarding My Time Our Time, she comments:
“My Time Our Time is a welcomed campaign which aims to inspire patients to take the time to reveal and share their purpose and goals. Moreover, it reminds healthcare professionals to ensure that time is spent communicating with transparency and realistic hope to patients with life limiting disease, in order for their individual goals and wishes to be known. By doing this healthcare professionals and patients can work in partnership to ensure practical support, help and advice can be pitched accordingly.”
Karen Verrill – Centre Head at Maggie’s Centre, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
Karen has over 35 years’ experience as a nurse - 20 of these as a Breast Cancer CNS. For the last 5 years she has been managing the Maggie’s Centre in Newcastle, where people with cancer, their friends and family can gain practical, emotional and social support from specialist healthcare professionals.
Giving advice to women living with secondary breast cancer, Karen says: “Life is precious so live it as well as you possibly can. There are now many effective treatment options available for secondary breast cancer, and though they may be tough – so are you. Be patient with yourself, be kind to yourself and love yourself… you are worth it.”
Maria Noblet - Consultant Nurse, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
Maria Noblet has a special interest in developing breast cancer nurse practice and is a true advocate for the important role specialist nurses play in the care of women with advanced breast cancer. Maria highlights:
“We are still a long way off every woman with advanced breast cancer having access to an advanced breast cancer nurse specialist, but thankfully this is becoming more common and women with the disease are now beginning to be supported better in this setting. We know that the experience of advanced disease can often be more traumatic than initial diagnosis, and so it is essential that as nurses we maintain hope, give support and provide information. The provision of excellent nursing care really matters.”
How else are we supporting women with advanced breast cancer?
Funded by Novartis, designed for people with breast cancer, SymTrac™ Lantern is a free iPhone app that helps people with breast cancer track their symptoms and the impact on their life over time. The data recorded can be viewed in easy-to-read charts and shared with oncology care teams to enhance consultation time and support decision making.