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Managing symptoms by mobile phone may revolutionize cancer care for young people
Date:6/10/2008

London, UK: Researchers are harnessing the powers of digital communications technology to help young cancer patients at home manage the side-effects caused by chemotherapy.

They have given the teenagers and young adults specially adapted mobile phones on which the patients can record and send details of all their symptoms to the medical professionals managing their care. The phones are capable of giving basic advice about the most common symptoms, and if the symptoms are serious enough, the phone triggers an alert at the hospital so that specially trained cancer nurses can ring the patient and, if necessary, ask him or her to come into hospital.

Dr Faith Gibson told Teenage Cancer Trust's Fifth International Conference on Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Medicine today (Tuesday) that the Advanced Symptom Management System for Young People (ASyMS-YG) seemed capable of transforming the way young people with cancer were cared for.

"Chemotherapy for cancer can cause many unpleasant, distressing and sometimes life-threatening side-effects, which can have a huge impact on a young person's life," said Dr Gibson, a senior lecturer in children's cancer nursing research at the Institute of Child Health (London, UK). "The Advanced Symptom Management System for Young People that we are developing could revolutionise their care, giving them support and confidence in being able to manage their symptoms, as well as giving medical teams valuable information on a day-to-day basis about the way the patient has reacted to their treatment. I think this is a really exciting development and it could make a real difference in clinical care."

The ASyMS-YG [1] involves young people reporting their symptoms each day after having chemotherapy by completing a questionnaire on the mobile phone, which is similar to a PDA (personal digital assistant) or Blackberry. It has a touch screen and stylus. The questionnaire includes questions about how they are f
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
44-077-112-96986
Teenage Cancer Trust
Source:Eurekalert

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