Benefits to diet and physical health have been observed in a study of over 100 cancer survivors participating in our free phone-based Healthy Living after Cancer program. Participant behaviour changed to include an increase in physical activity along with intake of fruits and vegetables, an average decrease in BMI and better quality of life.
A qualitative study exploring nutrition-related calls to our 13 11 20 Cancer Information and Support line suggests there are more to these calls than simple requests about diet and nutrition. Callers often had pressing unmet informational, practical and emotional needs that warranted prioritising above advice on diet and nutrition related queries.
The Living with Cancer Education Program helps people make sense of cancer in a safe and informal environment. In 2016, over 580 people attended programs facilitated by local health professionals and gained the opportunity to connect with others in similar circumstances. Two-day training for new facilitators is being held on 1-2 June 2017.
Our free Wig Service has recently expanded to offer a postal service, extending its reach to people in regional areas of Victoria undergoing cancer treatment. The service is now available to eligible patients living over 50km outside Melbourne who are unable to travel to the Wig Service for a fitting.
National volunteer Week (8–14 May) is an annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. Rochelle Serry is one of our trained volunteers with the phone-based peer support program Cancer Connect and we thank her for her time and enthusiasm. Read more about why she continues to be involved with the program.
The new Medical Treatment Planning and Decisions Act 2016 makes some significant changes to advance care planning and medical treatment decision making for Victorians. On Tuesday 28 February, the McCabe Centre for Law and Cancer and Cancer Council Victoria are hosting a free webinar for health professionals outlining key changes and what this means for clinicians in practice.
World Cancer Day on 4 February was a time to reflect how everyone – as a collective or as individuals – can do their part to reduce the global burden of cancer. The Cancer Information and Support Service team work together with partners across Victoria to help support those affected by cancer
Self-guided interventions may hold promise in allowing patients to engage with support or education as they need. A recent systematic review exploring the evidence for effective interventions such as workbooks, resource packs or online information identifies potentially efficient ways in managing psychological distress in people with cancer.
The Wellness and Life After Cancer program assists those who have finished active treatment to make the change from clinical management to supported self management. New facilitator training will be held on 30 and 31 March 2017 at Cancer Council Victoria for health professionals interested in running the program in their local health service.
Thank you to all Dry July participants who took the challenge in 2016 to give up alcohol for one month. It was a grand fundraising effort, and as a result, Cancer Council Victoria can embark on three projects which aim to provide support to reduce the burden of cancer.
Cancer Council Victoria recently hosted the Teaching Communication in Healthcare Conference and Education Program. Over 120 delegates interested in communication in healthcare came together for the first time in Australia to formalise a network and identify priority areas for collaboration.
Two recent publications explore the experience and impact of people utilising cancer information and support via telephone or by accessing webinars online. The positioning of information alongside cancer treatment services has been evaluated to aid fuller integration of supportive care that benefits both patients and clinicians.
Parking has been recognised as an ongoing problem for many people when undergoing cancer treatment. We recently conducted an audit on website information provided by 21 health organisations with fee-paying parking. Interestingly, all offered online content about parking and public transport, but only 24% of hospitals provided adequate information about availability, concessions and costs.
Thinking about additional practical tips to help your patients and their families get through the holiday season? Our new Special Occasions and Celebrations fact sheet provides useful suggestions to assist people affected by cancer so they can make the most of this time of year.
Thank you to our partners across all regions in Victoria who help us support patients and reduce the burden for people affected by cancer. In working together to deliver high-quality supportive care programs, this year has seen improved engagement from patients, families and friends with support services. We look forward to continuing these partnerships in 2017 and wish you all the best for the holiday season. Dr Anna Boltong, Head of Cancer Information and Support Service
Many Australians are looking after someone with cancer when there are thousands of new cases diagnosed each year. National Carers Week celebrates this achievement during 16–22 October and we are hosting a special free webinar on Tuesday 18 October about ways family and friends can manage their own wellbeing, while supporting someone with cancer.
Register now for a networking platform to explore best practice for healthcare communication. This event is a partnership between Cancer Council Victoria, the European Association of Communication in Healthcare and the Department of Health and Human Services.
The association between alcohol intake and breast cancer recurrence or development of second primary breast cancer in the survivor population is unclear. A recent systematic review “To what extent is alcohol consumption associated with breast cancer recurrence and second primary breast cancer?” reveals some evidence of increased risk of recurrence and new breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.
Family members and friends play an important support role after a cancer diagnosis. It’s natural to experience a range of feelings and the experience of supporting someone during their illness can be both challenging and rewarding. Our booklet 'Caring for Someone with Cancer' can help family members and friends manage their own needs whilst providing the best care to the person with cancer.
Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our Forgotten Cancers Project – either as a participant, or by spreading the word. With your help we are a step closer to better understanding why people develop less common cancers such as kidney, bone and stomach, and improve their prevention and treatment in the future.
Cancer survivor Linnet knew she wanted to improve her lifestyle after treatment yet was finding it difficult to do it on her own. Hear how our free Healthy Living after Cancer program motivated her to make simple adjustments to her lifestyle from her home in regional Victoria.
Arabic, Italian and Vietnamese cancer survivors and their carers can now access cancer information in their own language with the launch of "On the Road to Recovery". These free bilingual resources were created in consultation with the individual communities to cover key information for when treatment finishes.
The Wellness and Life after Cancer program provides quality information to individuals transitioning from clinical care to recovery and survivorship. It reflects different learning opportunities and environments focusing on strategies to self-manage and adopt healthy lifestyle behaviours. This program is facilitated by health professionals and our next facilitators training is on 24-25 August.
Cancer Nurses Society of Australia Annual Congress was held in May and Cancer Council Victoria was proud to support two travel grants for Melbourne-based Breast Care Nurses. Lauren Keller and Fumie Hattori were presented their awards by Katherine Lane, 13 11 20 Nurse Manager at Cancer Information and Support Service.
A diagnosis of cancer often brings emotional and financial strain for patients and their families. It’s a time when a holiday is needed most, yet it can be the hardest time to afford a break away. Our Holiday Break Program can help and right now, we need more property donations to meet demand.
Daffodil Day is one of Australia’s most well-known and longest running charity events, raising funds and awareness for the fight against cancer. This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary on Friday August 26. Thanks to the support of the Victorian community and working together with health professionals, the past three decades has seen significant advancements in our understanding of cancer, early detection and treatment, and support available for people affected by cancer.
International Clinical Trials Day was celebrated on May 20 and provided an opportunity for organisations, health professionals, and the public to acknowledge how clinical research can change treatment practice. Cancer clinicians can access the latest information on clinical trials underway with the Victorian Cancer Trials Link smartphone app.
Returning to work after a cancer diagnosis can raise many questions for your patients. There may be concerns about whether to tell the employer, or alternatively, assistance is required to transition back into the workplace following treatment. The pro bono workplace advisory service offered by Cancer Council can help people who cannot afford to pay for advice.
Dealing with cancer can be stressful and it can become hard for patients and carers to remember all the information given by different specialists. Visual instructional videos are now available to help with nutrition and speech pathology needs such as managing feeding tubes, swallowing difficulties and laryngectomees.
It may be confronting for people with cancer when treatment is no longer working, as well as being an emotional time for the patient and family. Our collection of booklets outlines what can happen emotionally and physically during this time and provides information about practical support and how to access services.
The World Health Organisation and partners marked World No Tobacco Day on May 31 to draw attention to the toll of death and disease caused by smoking. WHO recognize individuals in tobacco control and this year Professor Melanie Wakefield from Cancer Council Victoria has been awarded the WHO Director-General's Special Recognition Certificate.