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What is Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can affect anyone – it is cancer caused mostly by exposure to asbestos. The exposure may have been very minimal, often occurring many years before. The exposure may have been very minimal, often occurring many years before.

Mesothelioma most commonly affects the lining of the chest cavity, but can also affect the lining of the abdomen. Treatment may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy, but it does not offer a cure.

Macmillan Lung Care Clinical Nurse Specialist / Key Worker
When you are told your diagnosis, you will usually be offered the opportunity to meet with a Macmillan Lung Care Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS). The CNS has in-depth knowledge of your illness and its treatment and will be able to discuss any concerns and questions you might have. The CNS can offer information regarding clinical trials, compensation and government benefits. They will prepare and support you through your care and treatment. The CNS will be your Key Worker and their contact details are as follows:-

Maidstone Hospital – 01622 225256
Key Worker: Sandra Wakelin / Fran Bevans
Monday – Friday: 9am – 4pm (excl Bank Holidays)
Answerphone messages picked up twice daily

Tunbridge Wells Hospital – 01892 635358
Key Worker: Louise Gilham / Alison Smith / Florina Hewitt
Monday – Friday: 9am – 4pm (excl Bank Holidays)
Answerphone messages picked up twice daily

In some circumstances there may not be a CNS available. If this is the case, other healthcare professionals will support you – these include Ward Nurses, your Consultant or the Clinic Nurses.

If you are at home or have finished your initial treatment, your GP, District Nurse or Community Palliative Care Nurse will be your Key Worker.

Alternatively, if you require further information please contact the Macmillan Cancer Information Centre on 01622 227064 or Macmillan Cancer Support on 0808 808 0000.

What is Mesothelioma UK?
Mesothelioma UK Charitable Trust was established in 2009. The charity provides a “one stop shop” for those affected by Mesothelioma, ensuring free access to specialist information, support, education and improved care and treatment.

Freephone: 0800 169 2409

Mesothelioma UK currently employs five Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) across the UK. Louise Gilham (CNS) supports patients across Kent and is based at Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury. Louise has worked with mesothelioma and lung cancer patients for the last 20 years and, in addition to clinical care for patients, Louise will also support the teams of healthcare professionals throughout Kent helping to optimise patient access to treatment and promoting clinical trials.

LASAG – London Asbestos Support Awareness Group for London & the South East
This charitable group was set up by The London Hazards Centre Trust Limited in 1984. It operates across London and the South East. Their team of advisors can offer practical advice and are knowledgeable about benefits and compensation schemes. They can help you with paperwork and provide assistance and guidance. Their advisors can help by visiting you at home and can be contacted by telephone. Their services are free. They can help link you with support groups so that you can meet and talk with other people suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.
Freephone: 0808 278 2515

HASAG – Hampshire Asbestos Support Awareness Group for the South & South East
This charitable group was founded in 2006 by Diane Salisbury and Lynne Squibb, in memory of their late father, Mr Dave Salisbury, who had suffered from Mesothelioma. Their experience highlighted how common asbestos-related diseases are in the South and South East and the urgent need for a support group to raise awareness and care for patients and their carers. Their advisors can visit you at home and provide help and support with paperwork, government benefits, asbestos claims. They also run support groups where you can meet others suffering from asbestos-related illnesses.
Telephone: 02380 010 016 or 02380 010 015