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Mesothelioma specialist nurse appointed for Wales

A new nurse has been appointed to specialise in treating patients with cancer related to asbestos across Wales.

Cancer charity Mesothelioma UK announced this week that Rebecca Weston-Thomas would take over as its Welsh mesothelioma clinical nurse specialist.

Already a lung cancer nurse at St Woolos Hospital in Newport, Ms Weston-Thomas’ appointment will see her joining multidisciplinary teams to help care for around 100 Welsh mesothelioma patients.

As well as this, she will work with the Asbestos Awareness Support Group Cymru, which offers help to people affected by asbestos-related diseases across Wales.

Ms Weston-Thomas said she was excited to use her six years of experience as a cancer nurse, and 10 years in acute respiratory medicine, to support mesothelioma patients. She succeeds Sarah Morgan, who retired at the end of 2023.

Mesothelioma UK helps fund nurses specialising in the cancer which, in nine out of 10 cases, is caused by exposure to asbestos.

There are two main types of mesothelioma – peritoneal and pleural. The latter, which is the most common, affects the chest wall, known as the pleura, while peritoneal mesothelioma is when a tumour forms in the lining of the abdomen, or the peritoneum.

The link between peritoneal mesothelioma and asbestos is less clear than that between the substance and the more common pleural mesothelioma, according to the charity.

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Leah Taylor, head of nursing for Mesothelioma UK, said: “We’re delighted to appoint Rebecca to this key position in Wales.

“[Sarah Morgan] made a significant and lasting contribution to the mesothelioma community in Wales.

“We’re sure that Rebecca will continue the great work that Sarah undertook with patients from across the country.”

Mesothelioma UK funds more than 30 specialist nurses across the NHS nationally.

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