A new innovation that aims to provide hope and inspiration for those newly diagnosed with cancer - and people with a past diagnosis - is to launch today (Thursday 17 July).
'CancerStories' is a novel new e-health innovation aiming to provide patients and families with personal first-hand accounts of how real patients have coped with their cancer.
With patients often feeling isolated and uncertain following a diagnosis of cancer, 'CancerStories' provides a peer support model available online using inspirational video diaries.
The project, which is led by Dr Alex J Mitchell from the University of Leicester together with several volunteers and is undergoing evaluation with staff and patients in Leicestershire, is now available nationwide at the following link: www.cancerstories.info
'CancerStories' uses an e-health approach of recorded video interviews. Interviews are conducted in a friendly but professional interview style. Each video is available in high quality, high definition on TV, computer or smartphone. More than 300 problem areas are discussed in 5-10 minute clips.
Dr Mitchell, honorary senior lecturer at the University of Leicester, said: "Our aim was to offer something therapeutic for everyone affected by cancer and not rely on a referral to a specialist. Many people suffer emotionally without adequate help. Thanks to an incredible group of patients and family members who have consented to present their story for the benefit of others, we have been able to create this valuable resource."
Alfie Bangs, a participant in the programme who suffers from head and neck cancer, said: "Getting help is currently a lottery - I improved, but many still suffer in silence. When patients and families look online they find a lot of mixed quality information. To be blunt, we don't need just information. What we need is support, help and encouragement. 'CancerStories' takes these elements and captures them in an accessible video from real people that is available anytime to patients and families."
'CancerStories' is working in partnership with the Harry Moseley foundation. Georgie Moseley, Harry's mother, has recently told her story of how her son battled a brain tumour, which forms one of the stories within the project. A trailer for her story can be seen here.
'CancerStories' is currently available to anyone who wants to hear personal accounts. Patients wanting to tell their story and willing to travel to Leicester are invited to do so.
Follow the progress of 'CancerStories' at www.twitter.com/cancer_stories.