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New radiotherapy film makes cancer treatment clear

24 September 2015

Health Care

The radiotherapy department at Southend Hospital has produced a short film aimed at radiotherapy patients, their families and friends.

The video, which aims to demystify radiotherapy and provide reassurance to patients about to undergo treatment, was created in conjunction with the department and Southend-based film company Curious Spirit Pictures

Nicolai Greet, radiotherapy services manager, who helped with the script, said: "When patients receive their diagnosis there is a lot of information for them to take on board. It's a scary time and it can be difficult to access accurate information. This video will ensure patients access to appropriate information which they can share with family and friends to help them gain a better understanding."

There are many misconceptions with regards to radiotherapy and news reports in recent years have painted a negative picture of the treatment, which is something award-winning filmmaker Dan Baker wanted to help address with this film.

"Most people don't realise that radiotherapy is the second most-effective way to treat cancer behind surgery," said Dan, adding, "and although the radiotherapy team at Southend is relatively small, I hope that this film will go some way to supporting their passion and innovation for enhancing radiotherapy services."

The video features the journey and process a patient will go through when undergoing radiotherapy treatment. This includes the linear accelerator (LINAC) device which delivers high energy x-rays to the region of the patient's tumour.

Also happy with the production of the video is the team at the Macmillan Informaiton and Support Centre, based in Southend Hospital, which also features in the short film.

Centre manager, Friederiche Englund, said: "Radiotherapy can have a dramatic impact on every aspect of a patient's life and on those close to him or her. Often it is difficult to know who to ask for help and support. A film giving information about radiotherapy and the impact it can have on everyday life can highlight the general themes to a wide audience and include information where to go for further help.."

The video is now available on Southend University Hospital's YouTube channel, can be viewed here and is also being shared across its social media on Twitter and Facebook.