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Cancer and COVID-19 for health professionals


Cancer Council is here to help the oncology sector during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure support services remain available to people affected by cancer. 

Please download, print, or share the resources below where applicable with people affected by cancer or health professionals to encourage them to contact or refer to our cancer nurses on 13 11 20 for information and support. We will add more resources as they become available. If you would like to suggest a new resource, please contact us.

You can also direct people affected by cancer to our COVID-19 and cancer information on our website.

Why contact 13 11 20 cancer support?

Our experienced oncology nurses are here for all people affected by cancer and can discuss a range of concerns and supports such as:

  • managing treatment and side effects
  • survivorship
  • recurrence and palliative care
  • family issues and talking with children
  • managing the costs of cancer
  • sexuality and intimacy
  • psycho-oncology
  • referrals to local support services
  • clinical trials information.

You're not alone support campaign

We know that COVID-19 has been particularly difficult for people affected by cancer. We've developed a new campaign to increase awareness of our 13 11 20 cancer support line, and remind patients and carers that they're not alone – an especially important message for people living in regional and rural areas. 

We have developed a range of assets, including posters, waiting room images and videos, social media and eNewsletter content, which you can access for free in our digital toolkit. Also included is a widget, or a button with code, that links directly to our online health professional referral form, that you can embed into your staff intranet for easy access.

Campaign assets

Patient resources

These resources have been developed for people affected by cancer. Download these resources for free and print as posters and patient handouts, or place on digital displays in waiting rooms.

Health Professional resources

These resources have been developed for health professional educating and training purposes only. Please display them in staff only areas, intranets or in internal communications.

13 11 20 referral widget

Make it simple for your staff to refer patients and carers to 13 11 20 cancer support by adding this free widget to your website or intranet, and easily be directed to our dedicated  cancer support referral form for health professionals.

Our experienced cancer nurses will contact your patients directly, undertake a thorough needs assessment and refer them to relevant support from our directory of more than 470 community services across the state. We can also provide in-demand services such as psycho-oncology support, financial counselling, wig services, peer support and much more. In turn, your health service will receive an update on the outcomes of your referral.

Embed the widget in your site

To add the widget to your website, copy the following code and paste it into your website.

Width (minimum: 320px): 

Code copied to clipboard! Copy code

Recorded phone script

Cancer Council Victoria is aware of the pressure on acute health services. Our 13 11 20 Information and Support line can assist by taking non-urgent, general enquiries and will encourage people to contact their treating teams or GP where necessary.

Our nurses provide emotional, practical and informational support and assist people to understand their situation in the context of COVID, based on the most current information. The below script can be placed on inpatient and outpatient oncology answering services as appropriate, as a way to support health professionals to triage urgent enquiries for those on active treatment.

Suggested script for health services to add or incorporate into current messaging:

T hank you for calling [Health Service/Oncology area]. If you are a patient, who is currently on treatment and you have concerns about your appointment, symptoms or have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please [INSERT ACTION e.g. hold the line, press 1 etc] to speak to [a staff member/your treating team].

If you are NOT currently on active treatment and have general questions or concerns about COVID-19, your diagnosis, treatment or available support, please hang up and call your GP. Alternatively you can contact Cancer Council on 13 11 20 to speak with a cancer nurse. This service is available Monday to Friday during business hours, or you can visit their website at www.cancervic.org.au.

Contact a cancer nurse for support