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Patient creates mobile app to help with breast cancer treatment

Patient creates mobile app to help with breast cancer treatment

A mobile application designed to help people living with breast cancer prepare for the start of radiotherapy has been developed by an innovative patient identified as Karen Bonham.

Karen said she started thinking of developing the app after she discovered that patients often find it difficult, or painful after breast surgery to do exercise which requires them to raise their arm above their head.

According to Karen, leaflets giving details about how to exercise after surgery did not help her enough, so she decided to create the app to offer exercise videos – and medics say it is helping more women be ready on time.

Ms Bonham said she had been “very anxious” about not being able to access radiotherapy and had confided in her physiotherapist.

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She said the paper-based exercises were “not the most informative” and asked what could be done about it.

“I’m just delighted that she listened and spoke to the full breast care team, including the surgeon, to be able to produce something that is now much more easily accessible and best practice for everybody,” Ms Bonham added.

Kate Baker, clinical lead physiotherapist at Velindre, who helped devise the app, said: “Previously, we’ve always handed out information on exercises in a leaflet, that patients would be given by a physiotherapist and taken home. But often these pieces of paper get lost and they’re not followed through.

“What we wanted to do was provide exercises, physical activity advice and further information in an app format, which would allow individuals to have it with them at all times.”

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