You may remember that we reported on a new Metastatic Thyroid Clinic that was started last year and how the Sussex Cancer Fund had provided some blood pressure monitors for patients which allowed the clinic to take place, we would like to now share some of the positive impacts this has made to patients. The new clinic allowed patients access to treatment closer to home as previously it was only offered in London.
As with many treatments, there are side effects, the most severe of these was that 70% of patients are at risk from Cardiac Toxicity – i.e. high blood pressure. However, this is easy to treat but needs to be detected early. In order for the new clinic to take place, there was a need to monitor blood pressure regularly – at least daily. The Sussex Cancer Fund stepped in to provide the necessary blood pressure monitors. These blood pressure monitors, are to be issued to each patient so they are able to monitor their own blood pressure at home between their weekly clinic visits.
We asked Robyn Payne, Head & Neck Clinical Nurse Specialist- Supportive Care for an update
How many people have the new machines helped?
“So far 3 people have been started on Lenvatanib with another 3 expected to start in the next near future- dependant on the COVID situation.”
Would having more machines help?
“We do have enough at present for this particular project. This is a rare cancer and the treatment is very expensive but in a year or so we may need more as more people come to us for treatment”
Without being specific has the project been successful? If so how?
“The project has been successful on the whole- 2 patients have controlled disease- but sadly one patient passed away recently- having stopped the treatment in January.
Of the 2 patients with controlled disease both have recently been on holiday- immediately prior to COVID. We were able to support them with taking these holidays because of the blood pressure machines. They are also able to continue on lenvatanib with telemed support because they are able to self-monitor the BP and other symptoms while shielding. Where we otherwise may have had to stop treatment in line with initial NICE Guidance- as other centres have had to do.”
If you would like to help us support this project and other projects like this please do donate if you can.