Members of the Plymouth and District Bowel Cancer Support Group visited Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre to find out more about family links to bowel cancer, and how endoscopy is used to help with early diagnosis of the condition.
Attendees were given a presentation by Dr Selina Goodman, a genetic counsellor from the University of Plymouth. Dr Goodman is the creator of Family Web, a tool designed to enable families to share vital information about their genetic diagnosis with other family members and health professionals.
The idea formed when Dr Goodman heard of a young mother in her 30s who, having presented clear symptoms of bowel cancer, was told “not to worry” by her doctor. Had she been able to access information demonstrating her family history at the time, she would have been immediately referred for screening which would have shown that she, in fact, had an inherited form of bowel cancer.
Dr Goodman’s presentation covered the research she carried out which enabled her to create the website to meet the needs of people with an inherited vulnerability to bowel cancer. She said: “Family Web allows high-risk patients a secure platform to share information such as letters from the hospital or a family tree [demonstrating a history of bowel related disease] by a sending a link via email to their relatives. Users of the website can show their doctor crucial information about their diagnosis by turning on their smartphone, tablet or laptop and looking at their account on the website.”
She added: “I was very pleased to be given the opportunity to talk about my work with people who are so intimately associated with bowel cancer.”
Wendy Wilson, Founder and Chair of the Plymouth and District Bowel Cancer Support Group, commented: “We were very grateful to Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre for arranging this event. It was very helpful for our members, many of whom will be interacting with Dr Goodman’s website and choosing Peninsula for their endoscopy and other treatment.”
Mark White, Hospital Director at Peninsula NHS Treatment Centre, added: “We were delighted to welcome members of the Plymouth and District Bowel Cancer Support Group to the hospital, and our thanks go to Dr Goodman for her interesting and informative presentation. Bowel Cancer UK is one of our chosen charities, for which we have already raised in the region of £350 through donations.”