Project 20 interviews  
     «Professionals speak about their daily work and their missions»

Interview with Madam Audrey Benoist, Breast-care nurse at the Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg

 Audrey has been a nurse for ten years, and for the last two a breast-care nurse at the CHL. She and her colleague Deborah manage the clinical breast consultancy. Audrey’s professional background includes training in Germany, where she obtained the necessary skills and experience for this coordination job. A patient suffering from breast cancer needs someone they can trust and rely on, and Audrey is that person. She coordinates her patients’ complete treatment, does the monitoring, and is on hand for any questions.

In general breast-care nurses (BCNs) are part of a multidisciplinary team which is made up of oncologists, gynaecologists, radiologists, radiotherapists, surgeons, social assistants and a beautician. This team is responsible for treating, accompanying and supervising patients throughout their treatment. Immediately a patient receives their diagnosis, the BCN makes contact.

If surgery is to be done first, the BCN makes contact in order to explain the pre- and post-operative process, and continues to see her patients during the post-operative period.

If a patient has to start chemotherapy — neoadjuvant or adjuvant — the BCN explains the situation, the chain of events, possible side effects and how things will be organized. And additional support is given such as useful contacts on where to buy a wig if hair loss is experienced, etc.

BCNs usually accompany and support their patient during the first chemotherapy session as this can be one of the most frightening steps, and time is taken to explain everything in detail. For example, some patients want to use a chemotherapy cooling cap to help combat hair loss, and the BCN informs patients about how to use one. In addition, they organize the first appointment with a psychologist, a beautician (more to follow later on this topic), or other professionals, depending on a patient ‘s needs, and encourage the patient to rely on them during this difficult treatment period. Contact can be made whenever the patient feels that it would be helpful.

Regarding specific medication (whether it is in an adjuvant context, or metastatic), the BCN ensures regular monitoring — blood tests, injections, and to make sure treatment is effective and that there are no adverse reactions or intolerances — and that the patient is fully aware of what’s happening.

Audrey has a personal message to give to all patients, “Don’t be afraid of talking about cancer. Nowadays breast cancer shouldn’t be a taboo subject. We are here to support you during this difficult time.”

Thank you Audrey for your dedication and invaluable information.

From left to right: Audrey Benoist, Débora Soares. 

The interview was conducted by Ms. Françoise Hetto-Gaasch, member of the committee of Europa Donna Luxembourg in May 2022.

Europa Donna Luxembourg Asbl

1b rue Thomas Edison L-1445 Strassen

Tél. : 621 47 83 94 

E-mail :

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