The Dorset Oesophagectomy Support group was established in 2003. The Gastrectomy Support Group formed in 2005 and in 2007, the groups amalgamated.

The group provides support, information and advice to anyone throughout Dorset who has undergone surgery for cancer of the stomach or oesophagus.

The group also provides the opportunity for everyone to share experiences and learn about new medical developments in a relaxed informal environment.

The group publishes regular newsletters which are also available to those who would rather not attend meetings. Although the group encourages open communication between members, it fully respects and honours individual’s confidentiality.

The Dorset Gastrectomy and Oesophagectomy Support group is part of the Dorset Cancer Network.

How The Group is run

The group welcomes all patients, their carers and their families to our meetings and social events.

The Group is run by a committee made up of patients, carers and specialist nurses.

Informal meetings and social events are held in various venues across Dorset in order to accommodate members from throughout the region.

Meetings are attended by guest speakers who talk on a variety of interesting subjects, including topics of local interest and new developments in treatment and cancer care.

Members of the healthcare team including dietitians and social workers frequently attend the meetings and are available to give one-to-one advice and support.

The group is not funded by the NHS. It was initially set up using a grant from the Wessex Cancer Trust. It relies on donations and fundraising for its on0going activities.

We aim to:

  • provide free emotional support, information and advice to all.
  • provide a relaxed and friendly environment for people who have had an oesophagectomy, their carers and families, to gain support from and offer support to others, by sharing their experiences.
  • Share information and advice on managing post-operative difficulties, including diet, fatigue and lifestyles.
  • Give patients and their families information about new developments both locally and nationally in the treatment and care of individuals with this type of cancer.
  • Enable patients awaiting surgery to meet with others who have recovered well, which can often relieve many anxieties.

The Buddy Scheme

In addition to support gained by attending meetings, The group is able to offer new patients the opportunity to talk through some of their concerns with another patient who has already recovered from surgery.

The specialist Nurses carefully match up “buddies” to each individual. This may simply result in a reassuring telephone conversation, however, sometimes longer friendships can develop.

Training is provided for anyone who is interested in becoming a buddy. Your Specialist Nurse will be able to give you further details.

For more information or advice on any aspects of The Go Group please contact one of the Specialist Nurses (details on Contacts page)

We look forward to hearing from you and welcoming you and your family to the group.

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