A former cancer patient has joined forces with the Royal Surrey County Hospital to spearhead the launch of a support group for patients with melanoma (skin cancer).
Paul Duhig was a patient at the Guildford hospital’s St Luke’s Cancer Centre after being diagnosed with skin cancer. Thanks to oncologists he was able to receive a new generation of immunotherapy drugs as part of a clinical trial that has put his cancer in remission.
Wanting to establish a support group for patients and relatives also affected by melanoma, Paul worked alongside staff from the hospital, and other patients, to launch the support group, MelaNoMore.
He took a leading role in setting up the group and was supported by Delia Sworm and Kate Upshon, Macmillan clinical nurse specialists; support worker Kelly Smith and oncoplastic surgeon Liz Clayton
Macmillan Cancer Support and the Fountain Centre were also instrumental in the launch of the group.
Paul, who is chairman of the group, said: “The support my wife and I received particularly from Kate Upshon and Delia Sworm was so important in my care. They kept me going, and I see the MelaNoMore support group as a chance to give back and help those going through similar experiences.
“I am also very grateful for the support MelaNoMore has received from the Royal Surrey, as well as the Fountain Centre charity, and Macmillan Cancer Support who gifted us a generous grant of £2,800 to cover the cost of setting up the group.”
MelaNoMore is primarily a support group for melanoma patients as well as their relatives, to share experiences and meet each other. It will also hold education and fundraising events.
Skin cancer, including malignant melanoma, is the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with 13,500 new cases each year. Peoples are advised to seek medical advice as soon as possible if you notice changes in a mole, freckle or patch of skin.
For more information about the MelaNoMore support group, or if interested in joining, contact Kelly Smith, skin cancer co-ordinator on 01483 571122 ext 4831, or email her at Kelly.firstname.lastname@example.org.