Free cancer survivor forums in Albury/Wodonga

Friday 6 June, 2008

Coping with life after cancer treatment will be the focus of two special forums to be held at Mirambeena Community Centre, Martha Mews, Lavington on Thursday, 26 June.

Cancer survivors, family, friends and health professionals looking after people with cancer are invited to come along and hear the latest news about support for cancer survivors and coping with life after active treatment has ended.

Special guest speakers include cancer survivor and marathon fundraising walker, Nicole Shipard, Professor Annette Street from La Trobe University and local cancer specialists who will discuss the physical, emotional and social repercussions of cancer treatment.

The Cancer Council is collaborating with the Border Cancer Collaboration Psychosocial Oncology Working Group and Hume Region Integrated Cancer Service to bring this free event to the community.

Dr Amanda Hordern, Deputy Director of the Cancer Council's Cancer Information and Support Service said life after cancer treatment could be a challenging time for many people.

"Cancer Council research indicates that over 60% of Victorians diagnosed with cancer will survive beyond five years," Dr Hordern said.

"Many cancer survivors face difficulties after treatment including emotional issues such as coping with ongoing changes which can have a devastating impact on daily life and practical issues including understanding legal rights and responsibilities.

"Once active treatment has ended, people can feel at a loss as they come to terms with a new ‘normal' life.

"This free forum will provide strategies to help survivors adjust to life after cancer. It will also provide an opportunity to speak to others in a similar situation," she said

Guest speaker, Nicole Shipard said the forum would be a great opportunity for local people affected by cancer to share their experiences and lessen feelings of isolation.

"I found getting back to life after cancer a real struggle," Ms Shipard said.

"My values and beliefs changed and I felt like the world was gaining speed when I wanted to slow down.

"At the forum, I will talk about the different roles and experiences of my own cancer journey and share how I eventually became strong again," she said.

What:  Free Cancer Survivorship Forums

The support needs of cancer patients given the ‘all clear'

Forum 1: for Health Professionals
8am-10am
Light breakfast and refreshments provided.

Forum 2: for Cancer survivors, family and friends
11am-3:30pm

Light lunch and refreshments provided.

When:  Thursday 26 June, 2008 
Where:  Mirambeena Community Centre, Martha Mews, Lavington. 

Registrations are essential; please call Liz on 03 9635 5549 or Alma on 03 9635 5539 to register or for more details.

Available for interview:

Dr Amanda Hordern, The Cancer Council Victoria

Nicole Shipard, cancer survivor and marathon fundraising walker

Media Contact

Sophy Chirnside, Communications Officer

03 9635 5131 / 0408 518 613

Sophy.Chirnside@cancervic.org.au

Nicole Shipard inspired people across North-East Victoria in 2004 when she and her family completed a 360km walk from Albury to Melbourne in 14 days, raising $200,000 along the way for Leukaemia research. Nicole has resumed an active and fulfilling life after a devastating diagnosis and treatment for Acute Lymphatic Leukaemia, and is an active speaker and advocate for various community and health organisations across Australia.

Professor Annette Street, Professor of Cancer and Palliative Care Studies at La Trobe University/Austin Clinical School of Nursing and Director, Research in Supportive Care, is a sociologist with an international reputation in health care and nursing research.  Professor Street's research interests are primarily focused in supportive care exploring the effects on health care consumers, specifically around end of life care, psycho-oncology and symptom distress in cancer care. She provides leadership to a number of multi-disciplinary, multi-method research teams. Her research books "Inside Nursing" and "Nursing Replay", are used in graduate programs in nursing and education in Asian & English speaking countries.