Most people will be touched by cancer during the course of their lives.
It may be a member of your family, a friend or closer to home – you.
Even the rich and famous are not immune to its effects.
We have seen this with the deaths of celebrities such as Sir Terry Wogan, Victoria Wood and, most recently, Caroline Aherne highlighting just how widespread the disease still is.
According to Cancer Research UK, one in two people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of the illness in their lifetime.
While this is a sobering statistic, we can try to make sure that people receiving treatment for cancer have the best possible care.
Each year the National Cancer Patient Survey results are published, with 2015’s findings now available on the National Cancer Patient website www.ncpes.co.uk.
This survey is important because it helps us to know as a Trust where we are in terms of the level of cancer care and treatment we provide.
Highlights of the report into that care and treatment at our trust told us that:
n Patients at our hospitals indicated that they found it easy to contact their clinical nurse specialist (80 per cent).
n Patients understood the answers to their questions all of the time (83 per cent).
n Patients trust and have confidence in all our doctors who are treating them (79 per cent).
n Patients fully understand the information provided about whether their treatment is working (60 per cent).
Overall we achieved the required standards in 44 of 50 categories, excelling in two and requiring improvement in four.
This report shows that we are on the right track for delivering quality care for our local residents.
It is our belief at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals that no two individuals should ever be treated the same.
Regardless of illness or symptoms, care should be tailored to the individual and we strive each and every day to make this a reality.
Cancer isn’t going to go away any time soon but returning to my earlier point, the way that we approach treatment can make a huge difference.
Whether this means making a patient more comfortable, at ease or simply better informed about what is happening to them, it should always be our priority to provide the best quality care.
I’m immensely proud of our staff at the Trust and this report shows their dedication and commitment to providing great health care for the people of Doncaster and Bassetlaw.
We now need to build on our successes from last year and learn where we need to improve.
* Stacey Nutt, lead nurse, cancer. Doncaster Hospitals NHS Trust