Susan Smyth has been appointed as a new Mesothelioma Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) to support patients across Tayside.

The UK has the highest incidence of the disease in the world with around 2,700 people diagnosed each year. In Scotland, between 2015-17, 621 people were diagnosed.

Susan will be based at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, part of NHS Tayside. This new post has been made possible through funding from Macmillan Cancer Research for the first two years and from Mesothelioma UK from year three onwards.

Mesothelioma UK supports 24 Mesothelioma CNSs across the UK, each based within an NHS hospital and dedicated to providing expert, specialist mesothelioma support, information, treatment and care across the region in which they are based.

Susan has worked at Ninewells Hospital for 18 years in various roles, and has been a lung cancer specialist nurse for the last 12 years. Prior to that, Susan was a Charge Nurse in the respiratory unit. Susan’s interest in the respiratory field began as a student nurse when she was on a placement and from that grew a passion for treating pleural malignancies.

In this role, Susan will be offering both clinical help such as fluid drainage from patients’ lungs to make breathing easier, and practical advice such as where to go for benefits advice and support.

Susan will work closely with healthcare professionals including district nurses, oncologists, and respiratory consultants, attending the local and national Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meetings to determine the best treatment plan for patients and assess their suitability for clinical trials.

Commenting on her new role, Susan said: “I’m really enjoying being part of Mesothelioma UK’s team of Clinical Nurse Specialists.

“It’s exciting to meet and work with other specialist nurses in the area and be able to have that local support and advice. I’m honoured to be part of a team that is developing the services for mesothelioma patients across the UK.”

Liz Darlison, Mesothelioma UK Head of Services, added “I am delighted to collaborate with Macmillan Cancer Research to fund this vital post in Tayside. We welcome Susan to the Mesothelioma UK team which is having a remarkable impact across the UK. With the significant number of mesothelioma patients in and around Tayside, Susan will focus on patient care and supporting more patients to access clinical trials.”

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