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National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Day

As part of National Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Day, specialist cancer nurses at Addenbrooke's Hospital have been talking about their day-to-day roles, what they're doing to help patients-in-need and why they're excited about Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.

The Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS) upper GI team
Upper GI cancer clinical nurse specialists at Addenbrooke's

Nyarai Chinyama

“It’s an honour to be let into a patient’s life, their personal space, and be part of that journey."

Nyarai Chinyama is a specialist cancer nurse at Addenbrooke’s who looks after patients with stomach and oesophageal cancer, as well as complex non-cancerous tumours.

Nyarai described her job as a hugely rewarding profession.

“You can see someone who has received good news from the outcome of their treatment, but you can also see patients who have been given life-changing information.

“It’s all about caring for these different groups of patients based on their individual needs.

“It’s an honour to be let into patient’s life, their personal space, and be part of that journey with the ultimate hope that all patients are supported well."

Watch Nyarai's story


Nyarai says she's excited about the future of cancer care with the new Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital planned for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.

“It will be a place where we can work and learn, and with all the specialists in one area, this will ultimately improve the care we provide to our patients,” said Nyarai.

“It is going to help staff like myself, with having easy access to tests and investigations all in one place.”

Joanna Rowley

"My role is multi-functional and that’s why it’s so rewarding. We receive many anxious patients, who come through the’s seeing them and being there from the start to the end of their clinical pathway."

Joanna Rowley
Joanna Rowley, Lead Nurse at the Cambridge Breast Unit

Joanna Rowley has been the Lead Nurse at the Cambridge Breast Unit since 2001. She manages a team of cancer specialist nurses, healthcare assistants and works clinically – seeing patients that are referred to hospital by their GP.

Joanna says the most rewarding part of the job is feeling you’re making a difference.

"We want patients to feel they’re being cared for by a team who have their best interests at heart, and to feel safe within that team."

She's also been involved in the planning stages of the new Breast Unit within the new Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital.

"It’s very exciting and sounds like a great vision for the future. For patients it’s going to be a centre of excellence in caring for women with breast cancer.

"There's much more onus on the holistic side of things too, which is something I’m passionate about.

"I’ve been very active in recruiting a counsellor for the Breast Unit and she makes a huge difference to patients through counselling sessions, as they finish their treatment and cancer journey."

Joanna with two of her CNS colleagues
Joanna with colleagues in the Breast Unit

You can read more about our Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) teams and their stories here.

Join us to show support and appreciation for our Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist Workforce for #NationalCancerCNSDay.