Sarcoma is a rare cancer that has a large impact on patients’ and their families. However, very limited research has been conducted in the area of understanding and addressing patients and carers’ psychosocial needs.
I have a clinical background in radiation therapy and have previously treated younger and older people diagnosed with sarcoma. It can have a huge impact on patients’ lives and depending on the diagnosis experiences can be very different. As a rare cancer, patients and carers have less access to support they require.
My research interests stemmed from wanting to understand patients and carers experiences and improve the support that they receive. If we can improve the support provided it will be possible to reduce their levels of distress and hopefully the experience will be less traumatic. To date, we have conducted qualitative research to understand patients and carers experiences of delays in diagnosis, unmet needs of patients and carers, and the role of the newly introduced sarcoma nurse role. We have also conducted a study to describe sarcoma incidence and management in WA.
Our next project is focused on understanding what additional community support can be provided to patients and carers following a sarcoma diagnosis.