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Cancer Council provides special support for carers

Thursday 24 April, 2008

Unpaid carers, family and friends of people with cancer are urged to attend the Cancer Council's first Carer's Forum on Saturday May 10, 2008. f

With 66 Victorians diagnosed with cancer every day, few Victorian families have not been touched in some way.

This interactive forum is an opportunity for unpaid carers, family and friends to share experiences and discuss many of the issues carers may face. Topics include: what happens when the carer has cancer, self-care and support services available.

Dr Amanda Hordern, Deputy Director of the Cancer Information and Support Service at The Cancer Council Victoria said the forum is the first step towards bridging the gap in support services for unpaid carers, family members and friends. 

"Caring for someone with cancer can be daunting and stressful, particularly when it is someone you care about very much," Dr Hordern said.

"The person with cancer may be experiencing feelings of distress, and treatment side effects such as fatigue and mood changes can have an enormous impact on relationships.

"Many carers are also taking on additional responsibilities such as daily chores and extra work to ease financial burden which can be tiring and stressful.

"This forum will address many of the practical and emotional issues that family and carers may face and will also provide a safe space to talk about experiences and concerns."

A carer is anyone, whether family or friend, who is helping to look after someone with cancer. They may be providing care for a few hours a week or 24 hours a day.

Dr Hordern said the Cancer Council has plans to launch other support services for family and unpaid carers in the near future.

"Many family members and carer's put aside their own needs when looking after someone with cancer," Dr Hordern said.

"As part of the Cancer Council's commitment to providing support to all Victorians affected by cancer, we are in the process of developing a new information kit specific to family and carers.

"We also have plans to launch ‘Family Cancer Connect', a telephone support program where family and carers can talk to someone going through a similar experience.

"These services will help ensure that the carers are being cared for too."

What: Inaugural Carer's Forum

Who: Family and friends caring for someone with cancer and carers who have cancer. People who have been carers are also welcome to attend.

When: Saturday 10 May, 2008, 10am - 3pm

Where: 100 Drummond Street, Carlton

Topics will include:

  • When it happened to me! (Speaker: Doreen Akkerman AM)
  • What happens when the carer has cancer?
  • Connecting with family carers
  • Carer information and supportive services

For more information or to register, please call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20, Monday to Friday, 8.30am-8pm.

A light lunch and refreshments will be provided. Registration is essential by Wednesday May 7, 2008


Available for interview:

Dr Amanda Hordern, Deputy Director, Cancer Information and Support Service

Media Contact

Sophy Chirnside, Communications Officer

9635 5131/ 0408 518 613