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.
She joined the upper gastro-intestinal (GI) Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team to make a difference to patients-in-need while developing further nursing knowledge in one clinical area.
"It’s a privilege and unique role that not many get to do."Nyarai Chinyama
Nyarai meets with patients at the point of their diagnosis, organises investigations and communicates with patients and their relatives on their clinical care plans and treatment.
She and the team run nurse-led clinics to review and follow-up a patient’s progress, plus get involved in wider research trials to develop and improve cancer care.
Nyarai described her job as a hugely rewarding profession.
“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.
“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.”Nyarai Chinyama
Cancer is a complex and significant disease that will affect 1 in 2 of us during our lifetime.
In the UK, the number of people living with a cancer diagnosis is set to double to 4 million in 2030.
Specialist cancer nurses like Nyarai can have a significant impact on cancer patients and their treatment outcomes.
They work closely with other health professionals including doctors, surgeons, physiotherapists, dieticians, radiologists and researchers throughout a patient’s hospital journey.
The nurses can choose to specialise in a range of fields, including ears nose and throat (ENT), gynaecology, breast cancer, lung cancer conditions, and tumours within the bowel or upper/lower gastrointestinal tract.
Nyarai said she is “excited” about the future of cancer care with Cambridge Cancer Research Hospital, the new regional specialist cancer hospital, planned for the Cambridge Biomedical Campus.
"It is going to help staff like myself, with having easy access to tests and investigations all in one place."Nyarai Chinyama
The new state-of-the-art facility is bringing together clinical expertise from Addenbrooke’s Hospital and world-class scientists from the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, all under one roof.
“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.”
Read other Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) stories here.