Cancer care nurse coordinators (ICSOs) play an important role in each patient’s care pathway.
They coordinate patient care among the different healthcare providers dealing with each patient’s case: doctors, paramedical staff (psychologists, dieticians, physiotherapists, etc) and administrative staff. ICSOs also liaise between the Institut Bordet and any external care providers such as GPs and home care teams.
Cancer psychologists specialise in providing support to patients affected by cancer. The psychological difficulties associated with cancer – the shock of diagnosis, anxiety, depression, self-image, fear of recurrence – can occur at any stage, before, during or after treatment. To help patients cope with this, the Institut Bordet’s cancer psychologists offer consultations and both individual and group activities (such as discussion groups) for patients and those close to them (partner, children, etc).
Some patients complain about problems with memory and/or concentration. They may experience difficulty finding the right words, carrying out more than one task at a time, or simply feel they are less well organised than they used to be.
Most often, these cognitive problems gradually diminish over time, but sometimes they can persist for several years after treatment.
Neuropsychologists help identify these cognitive problems and put in place strategies for reducing their impact and resolving them as quickly as possible.
Smoking advisors are health professionals (doctors, nurses, psychologists, etc) who specialise in helping people to quit smoking. They are trained in providing support to individuals who wish to stop smoking. Quitting smoking is a physical, psychological and behavioural process and the Institut Bordet offers a Smoker Support Centre (CAF) which is available to patients and their relatives.
Cancer and some cancer treatments can have a significant impact on weight (gain or loss), appetite, digestion and even metabolism. However, being overweight, eating an unbalanced diet and having an unhealthy lifestyle can in fact lead to the onset of certain types of cancer and may increase the risk of recurrence.
So it is important to maintain or return to a healthy, balanced and adequate diet during and after treatment. The Institut Bordet therefore offers cancers patients a team of dieticians specialising in oncology.
The Institut Bordet has a team of physiotherapists to support patients. Exercise and physiotherapy can help patients reduce their sense of fatigue, improve their stamina, muscle tone and heart function and control certain mood problems such as anxiety and depression. A specialist physiotherapist can also treat lymphoedema (“swollen arm”), following surgical lymph node removal and changes in lymphatic drainage following certain radiotherapy treatments.
Nurses specialised in aesthetic care and wellness
The Institut Bordet has nurses who specialise in aesthetic care and wellness. They offer patients specific care and advice to help cope with the secondary effects of treatment, such as hair loss, eyebrow loss, impact on the nails, skin, etc, as well as advice on breast and hair implants and well-being treatments (massages) specially adapted for patients affected by cancer.
Social services team
The Institut Bordet’s social services team supports patients and their relatives with administrative matters (social security, applications for aid and funding, etc). They can also help patients resolve social problems, with preparing to leave hospital and returning home or with their return to work.
At the Institut Bordet, occupational therapists help patients who have lost some degree of autonomy to readjust to their daily and social life through everyday activities: for example, holding cutlery, getting dressed, cooking and using a pen. Occupational therapists often work in close collaboration with physiotherapists.
Pain, whether acute or chronic, must be suitably managed. Providing the highest quality pain management is the duty of any healthcare institution. At the Institut Bordet, we have a structured, interdisciplinary pain clinic which provides continuity of care via an on-call system. The clinic includes an internist, an anaesthetist, nurses, psychologists and psychiatrists, a radiotherapist and a surgeon. The treatments offered are always at the leading edge of research in this field.
Consultations are arranged several times a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.
At the Institut Bordet, speech therapists are called upon to prevent, evaluate and treat problems with swallowing and with speech and communication in adult patients, always mindful of the patients’ needs and with respect for their quality of life. Our speech therapists work in close collaboration with other health professionals – doctors, nurses, dieticians, occupational therapists, psychologists, etc. Both in-patients and out-patients are offered monitoring and support.
The role of the Institut Bordet Laser Therapy Unit is to:
- prevent and treat mucositis caused by cancer treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of the two;
- to extend the role of low energy laser therapy (which is different from surgical laser therapy) to other fields such as radio dermatitis, hand-foot syndrome and lymphoedema.
Appointments can be made for consultations from Monday to Friday.
Stomatherapy and wound care clinic
Stoma nurses and wound care clinicians treat stoma wearers, patients with complex drainage problems, incontinence and urinary retention, self-catheterisation, pre and post-operatively, as well as patients with acute, complex wounds, chronic wounds or disrupted healing. The approach is multidisciplinary and highly sensitive, based on education and support. Great attention is given to the psychological, emotional and social experience of patients and their family. The aim is to promote dignity and quality of life while encouraging compliance with cancer monitoring and treatment.
The multidisciplinary Lymphology clinic and Lymphoedema
The Lymphology Clinic of the Jules Bordet Institute brings together doctors and paramedical professionals who offer a structured multidisciplinary response to lymphatic complaints and to the lymphatic system issues that certain patients may have. These lymphatic complaints may affect anyone who is being treated for cancer.
- “brawny arm”, which may appear after ganglion draining for breast cancer or a melanoma
- oedema of the lower limbs in men after an operation for prostate cancer or in women after surgery for cancer of the vulva, the cervix or the body of the uterus.
The Lymphology Clinic also offers its services to anyone with a lymphatic complaint that is not linked to a cancer pathology.