Cell phone to help in cancer care


London : Cell phones are being used to help young cancer patients manage the side-effects of chemotherapy at home, according to a new study.

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Under the study, teenagers and young adults were provided special cell phones that enabled them to record and forward details of symptoms to their doctors.

The phones were capable of gauging the most common symptoms of chemotherapy-related side-effects. And if they were found to be serious, the phone triggered an alert at the hospital.

Specially trained nurses would then ring the patient and, if necessary, ask him or her to come to the hospital.

The new initiative was presented Tuesday at the Teenage Cancer Trust’s Fifth International Conference on Teenage and Young Adult Cancer Medicine.

The initiative, called the Advanced Symptom Management System for Young People (ASyMS-YG) seemed capable of transforming the way young people with cancer were cared for, said Faith Gibson of Institute of Child Health in London.

“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 Gibson.

“The ASyMS 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 the treatment.

“I think this is a really exciting development and it could make a real difference in clinical care,” she said.