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Supporting Regional Victorians

Tuesday 17 January, 2023

Whether it’s been throughout the pandemic, or the heart-breaking floods of 2022, regional Victorians have constantly shown immense resilience throughout adversity. The community is there for each other, so it’s important for Cancer Council Victoria to be there for regional communities.

The uncertainty that Victorians faced as we emerged from lockdowns has been particularly pronounced for those affected by cancer. Some have waited months to receive psychology or counselling support because of the strain the pandemic placed on the health system.

But while many restrictions were relaxed across Victoria in 2022, people with cancer are still taking precautions and isolating to protect their health and wellbeing.

Callers to our 13 11 20 cancer support line have said they're still struggling to cope with the uncertainty that each new COVID-19 wave brings. They are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and are missing connections with their family, friends and regular cancer support groups.

Whatever your experience with cancer and COVID-19, Cancer Council Victoria launched a state-wide campaign to remind those who experience cancer that 'you're not alone'. It's an especially important message for people living in rural and regional Victoria.

The campaign helps people understand that by calling our experienced and trusted cancer nurses on 13 11 20, you can access the support you need. It's free, confidential and available for anyone affected by cancer, including carers and loved ones.

"We hope increased awareness will encourage people affected by cancer to reach out for cancer support, particularly given the impact that COVID-19 has had on available services," says Katherine Lane, Head of Cancer Information and Support Services at Cancer Council Victoria.

Cancer guide

"The campaign features one of our Wimmerabased 13 11 20 cancer nurses, Taryn, to illustrate that when you call us, you actually speak with an experienced cancer nurse who really knows cancer."

Whether it's managing the cost of cancer, finding assistance to access emotional support, or getting advice to navigate the health system, we're here to help. With our database of more than 470 community support services, we have detailed knowledge of local options right across the state.

"When I relapsed, the social worker referred me to Cancer Council's nurses," said Shireen, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

"There's lots of things that you can't talk about with your family, so it's nice to be able to talk to someone rather than burden your family. They've got enough to try and deal with."

For support from someone who really knows cancer, contact our cancer nurses. Click to learn more.