Our support services and COVID-19

The health and wellbeing of people affected by cancer, our staff and volunteers is of paramount importance. Given this, and to comply with the Victorian Government’s shutdown due to COVID-19, our physical office at 615 St Kilda Road will be closed until further notice. However we will aim to operate as usual as much as we can.

Our phone lines are still open as detailed below.

To receive updates about our events, any new resources, and cancer news and information, sign up to our newsletter.

Contact our cancer nurses

Our cancer nurses on 13 11 20 provide information and support services to anyone affected by cancer - whether it's patients, carers, family, friends, workplaces or health professionals. You can also email them via askanurse@cancervic.org.au.

Our nurses are well-placed to support people who have general concerns around COVID-19, including patients who may have recently completed treatment or are in follow up, as well as carers and family members.

Not only do we offer our information and support services, but we can also advise you about other services available from government and non-profit organisations across the state.

Please contact us for information and support, to allow patients in active treatment to utilise hospital triage services.

The nurses are available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. We're regularly monitoring the types and volumes of calls and will adapt our response to ensure we continue to meet your needs. If you need a translator to use this service, call 13 14 50.

COVID-19 and cancer information

Cancer Council has developed Cancer and COVID-19 facts sheets for people affected by cancer that can be downloaded or shared with others. This resource has also been translated into six languages.

We’ve also developed answers to frequently asked questions we’re receiving from the public such as caring for patients, social support and access to treatment.

Cancer support groups

Due to COVID-19, we advise that any planned face-to-face support group meetings should be postponed until further notice.  We’re encouraging all support group leaders to contact group members by phone or email to stay in touch and check on their wellbeing. Additionally, we have had great feedback from groups that are successfully using video calls to conduct their meetings. For help with conducting video calls with your group, check out our video call tips.

For those who meet within health centres, this advice may already have been provided to you. As always, follow the advice of your local health providers.

Online community

It's important to get the support of others who've had similar cancer experiences, and we encourage you to seek alternative means of finding and offering support. Such alternatives may be accessing our online community or by contacting group members by phone or email. Please stay in touch and check on their wellbeing.

Group telephone support

Telephone support groups provide a chance to connect with others over the phone, just like being in a face-to-face support group, but from the comfort and privacy of your own home. These are still running during the COVID-19 restrictions.

Each group is professionally facilitated and has three to seven members, meeting twice monthly at set times. Participation is free and available throughout Australia.

For more details, visit telephone support groups.

Cancer Connect

During this time, when interaction with others is restricted, our Cancer Connect program can provide vital one-to-one phone support from someone who understands what you're going through and knows what it's like to have cancer. It's free and confidential.

You'll be linked with a trained volunteer who's had a similar cancer experience to you in terms of cancer type, cancer treatment, age and family circumstances. A selected volunteer will then give you a call at home when it's convenient for both of you to chat.

All volunteers are trained and supported by our cancer nurses to offer emotional and practical support. Cancer Connect offers support for the following:

  • Cancer Connect: Support for people diagnosed with any type of cancer, along with cancer survivors.
  • Gene Connect: Support for those who have a higher genetic risk of developing cancer.
  • Family Connect: Support for family and friends of someone with a cancer diagnosis.

Call 13 11 20 (Mon. to Fri. 9am to 5pm, local call costs) and ask about our Cancer Connect program or submit your details online.

Cancer Connect volunteers

Due to COVID-19, we advise that expressions of interest and training to become a Cancer Connect volunteer have been suspended until further notice.

Financial Assistance Program

If you need help accessing any of these practical services or need financial support, contact Cancer Council’s nurses on 13 11 20. We offer one-off small grants to eligible people and can also connect you with our partner organisations that provide pro bono legal, workplace and financial advice.

Living with Cancer Education Program

We advise that due to the COVID-19 all Living with Cancer Education Programs have been suspended until further notice.

Cancer Wellness Program

We advise that due to the COVID-19 all Cancer Wellness Programs have been suspended until further notice.

Holiday Break Program

The health and wellbeing of our community is of paramount importance. Given this, and to comply with the Victorian Government’s restrictions to contain the spread of COVID-19, the Holiday Break Program has been suspended until further notice.

Please continue to check in for updates or email holidaybreak@cancervic.org.au to express your interest in a Holiday Break once bookings recommence.

Wig Service

We're running a Wig Postal service while it’s not possible to take face-to-face appointments.

Please call 13 11 20 to speak with one of our experienced cancer nurses or email wig.service@cancervic.org.au to find out more.

Keep up to date

To receive updates about our events, any new resources, and cancer news and information, sign up to our newsletter.

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Questions about cancer?

Call or email our experienced cancer nurses for information and support.

Contact a cancer nurse