New Coast bowel cancer nurse role a Queensland first

Bowel care nurse Kirsty Ferguson.

This Bowel Cancer Awareness Month, Bloomhill Cancer Care is celebrating the achievements of its new Bowel Care Nurse.

Kirsty Ferguson took on the role in February, and said she’s already helped many Bloomhill clients with individualised support.

“We’re working with Bowel Cancer Australia to support the first dedicated Bowel Care Nurse in the Queensland region, for the next three years,” Ms Ferguson said.

“I provide patients with a constant, dedicated point of contact throughout their care, and offer ongoing support during and after treatment.

“It’s been great enabling people to take a more active role in their bowel care treatment and helping to improve awareness in the wider community of how to prevent bowel cancer.”

Please support bowel cancer awareness and dig deep to support local cancer services such as Bloomhill, or Bowel Cancer Australia, whose work is championing the cause at the national level.

Diagnosed with bowel cancer at age 38, Sally’s two young boys were by her side when she was delivered the news, “I’m sorry you have cancer”. Sally was quickly admitted to hospital for major bowel surgery, which removed the early cancer, and she did not need chemotherapy.

Sally came to know Bloomhill’s staff and volunteers shortly after the diagnosis. With an ever-positive attitude and a beautiful smile, Sally considers herself fortunate in so many respects.

“I am extremely lucky in that I followed my gut instinct,” Sally recalled. “I sought medical advice and have a GP who referred me for appropriate screening which identified my early cancer.”

An advocate for bowel cancer survivorship, Sally says she is excited that Bloomhill now has a dedicated bowel care nurse.

“I was so excited to hear the news that Bloomhill had secured funding for Queensland’s first Bowel Care Nurse,” she said.

“This is a huge win, not only for the Sunshine Coast, but also for the Australian bowel cancer community. Australia has one of this highest bowel cancer rates in the world, with 1 in 13 Australians developing the disease in their lifetime.

“Many people with bowel cancer need specialist support to help them to manage symptoms unique to their condition- including ongoing changes to bowel habits, dietary and nutritional challenges, emotional and social strain, sexual dysfunction and support returning to work and their community.

“It’s fantastic that bowel cancer patients within our community will have access to this crucial nursing role, in the same way that we have the amazing specialist McGrath, Prostate and Leukaemia nurses. Well done to the Bloomhill team for being a part of nursing history.”

Bowel Cancer Australia chief executive, Julien Wiggins said, “Delivering better access to quality care is a priority for Bowel Cancer Australia and that’s why we are excited to be working with Bloomhill to support an inaugural bowel care nurse for the region.“

“We expect the appointment will contribute to improved outcomes and care coordination for local bowel cancer patients.”