We recognise that being diagnosed with cancer can be a difficult time for you and those close to you. As a designated centre for urological cancer we provide expert medical and nursing care, but we also have a number of support services that will provide you, and your family, with information, advice and support during this difficult time.


Surgical school

At UCLH we utilise an Enhanced Recovery Pathway for our robotic prostatectomy patients and we strongly recommend attending our surgical education session. This session is extremely useful for both the patient and their partner / family and is held every Friday from 9am – 11am at University College Hospital Westmoreland Street.

The session is intended to manage your expectations, aid your post-operative recovery and help you to manage your care. You will be informed about the experience you will have at UCH and when you go home. It is an informal session where you are free to ask questions about the journey that you are about to embark upon. We began these sessions in 2014 and the response and feedback has been overwhelming. It has been shown that patients who attend surgical school gain a faster recovery because they are aware of each milestone along their pathway.

For more information about this session, please contact Anna Mohammed, Surgical Care Practitioner (Urology and Robotics) Email: anna.mohammed1@nhs.net or prostatecancerCNS@uclh.nhs.uk

Watch this short video (3 min) that explains why you should attend surgical school.

Surgical school refresher video

This longer video (37 min) is aimed at people that have attended surgical school and would like a refresh on the content of the session, as well as those that cannot attend the session.

Both videos have been translated into five languages which can be found by clicking on the links – BengaliBulgarianPortugueseRussian and Turkish.

We found the session very useful and it has made us more aware of what to expect. It reassured us of the pre-operative care as well as the after care and helped us to prepare for the operation with pelvic floor exercises. We would definitely recommend this as a compulsory session for all patients.
– Previous Robotic Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy patient.

UCLH holds the first penile and urethral cancer support group which is the first in the country. The group meets on the first Tuesday of every month (excluding January and August) in the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre from 12 midday to 1.30pm.

The meetings comprise an educational and supportive discussion that is open to all men regardless of the stage of their treatment journey. There is no need to confirm attendance and men can dip in an out of meetings as they wish. The group continues to remain well attended and has now been running for 18 months.

“It is really helpful to talk to other men who really get what I am going through” - Support group member

For more information about the penile cancer support group contact Clare Akers, clinical nurse specialist (CNS) or Sadie Molloy, clinical nurse specialist on 07852219921 or at uclh.andrologycancercns@nhs.net

As part of the Prostate Cancer Survivorship Clinic at UCLH, the Urinary Incontinence Support Service is available to all men with persistent urinary leakage from three months following their surgery.

Patients are assessed with questionnaires, 24-hour pad weights and provided with additional support in performing pelvic muscle floor training by our Continence Nurse Specialists, Ms Claire Nichols and Ms Audrey Gora. Medication is provided if required. Following this initial face-to-face review, a six-weekly telephone consultation is offered and then a face-to-face review at six and twelve months following surgery.

Men that are still suffering from urinary incontinence will be offered further investigation with video urodynamics and retrograde leak point pressure measurement at nine to twelve months following surgery, depending upon their wishes and their degree of wetness.

At the twelve month prostatectomy face-to-face consultation with a member of the medical team the results of these tests will be explained and patients may be offered the option of progressing to an appropriate surgical solution for their urine leakage, guided by their test results and their wishes.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common problem following pelvic cancer therapy, particularly after bladder, prostate and rectal surgery where potency nerves may be damaged. Although not life threatening, ED affects the quality of life and may be detrimental to a relationship. It is, however, treatable in all patients to enable them to have sexual intercourse again.

The world-renowned UCLH Erectile Dysfunction service is the biggest in the Europe with five consultants and nurse specialists offering all of the available modern treatments. After an assessment and investigations, the treatments offered may include oral medication such as Viagra or Cialis, intraurethral therapy with MUSE, penile injections, vacuum devices, counselling and surgery. We currently see over 3000 new patients per year with referrals from all parts of the UK and are the biggest centre for penile prosthesis insertion. All of the above treatments are available on the NHS at this hospital once we have received a referral from your GP.

Tel: 020 3447 9190

Fax: 020 3447 9303

Email: Rhea.Houlker@uclh.nhs.uk

As a cancer patient you are entitled to free prescriptions. Simply pick up a FP92A form from your GP surgery. Then complete the form and ask your GP, hospital doctor or clinical nurse specialist (CNS) to sign it

Some patients are entitled to financial help and benefits. Please ask your clinical nurse specialist if you think you may be eligible. Alternatively, pop into the Macmillan Support and Information Service, or phone the Macmillan helpline on 0808 808 0000 (open Monday to Friday,  9am - 8pm)

Cancer diagnosis affects many aspects of life – both for a patient and their loved ones.

Psychological care is highly effective in helping patients deal with the diagnosis as well as physical and emotional side effects of cancer.

Our psychologists and counsellors are here to help you deal with the emotional side effects of cancer and provide information, support and practical help. Based on your assessment, they will offer you a range of therapy types, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), mindfulness-based therapy, narrative therapy, existential therapy, systemic therapy, specialised cancer-related interventions and counselling.

You will be offered a referral by your clinical team at the point of diagnosis, but specialist staff within the Macmillan Support and Information Service can also refer you

We know that having investigations and treatment can affect your quality of life in different ways. To help with this, we will offer you a ‘holistic needs assessment’ (HNA) which will involve questions relating to your general wellbeing, social situation and support network. It will also help to identify any particular issues or concerns you may have to ensure that we are offering you the most appropriate care plan.

If you have not been offered a HNA and feel you may benefit from it, please speak to your key worker.

On the ground floor of the University College Hospital Macmillan Cancer Centre, you’ll find the Macmillan Support and Information Service (MSIS).

Here the experienced team of NHS staff and trained volunteers provide emotional support, information and practical advice, whether you’re a UCLH patient, family member, friend or carer. They offer welfare and benefits advice, so that you’ll be able to claim the financial support you’re entitled to. This can be through a referral or in the walk in service. Sometimes people need more specialist psychological support and we can refer you to a clinical psychologist if needed.

The living room is a calm and relaxing area where you can speak to our helpful staff, meet other people or simply gather your thoughts. The staff and volunteers are here to listen and offer individual, emotional support whatever your circumstances. Please feel free to drop in to talk to someone, have a cup of tea, pick up some free resources or book onto one of our classes.

You’re also welcome to join our programme of activities aimed at helping to manage your emotional wellbeing and physical symptoms. Group activities include creative art, creative word, relaxation and yoga (pre-booking is often required for the group sessions). Complementary therapies are also available including massage, aromatherapy, reflexology and Reiki. We also run a wig service wig service to all patients treated at UCLH who have experienced hair loss as a result of their condition or treatment.

For further information, see the Macmillan Support and Information Service.