1 IN 2

1 in 2 of us will be diagnosed with cancer by age 85.
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Ask a Nurse - Common Questions Related to Cancer

A cancer nurse on the phone

If you have questions you would like answered about cancer and cancer support, our cancer nurses are here to help you.


I’m feeling financially overwhelmed with the costs associated with my cancer treatment, along with the rising costs of living, where can I get support?

Cancer Council Victoria’s financial counselling program is available through 13 11 20 for people experiencing financial issues related to their cancer diagnosis.

Financial counselling is also available through the National Debt Helpline. The service offers free advice on how to manage your debts. You can speak to a counsellor online, or in-person at various locations throughout Victoria. The Money Smart website also provides some practical tips and advice.

We also recommend calling Centrelink and asking what benefits you may be eligible for. A social worker at your treating hospital may be able to help you identify what you could be entitled to. Finally, check your insurance cover through your life insurance (if you have it) or your superannuation fund, you may have some provision that will assist with medical expenses.


I’m feeling overwhelmed about my cancer diagnosis, I don’t feel I can talk about it with my family or friends as I don’t want to burden them with my concerns. What options are available to me?

Start by phoning our experienced cancer nurses on 13 11 20, we will discuss your needs and refer you to the right care depending on your circumstances. We also offer free, short-term phone counselling.   

Other options may include asking your treating centre or hospital if they provide psychological support. If they don’t offer psychological support, you can visit your GP and ask for a Mental Health Treatment Plan. Once you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 10 individual sessions with a psychologist and up to 10 group allied mental health services over a 12-month period. There may be some out-of-pocket expenses, not covered by Medicare, we recommend confirming additional costs when you make your appointment.

We often refer people to the Cancer Mind Care website www.cancermindcare.org.au. The website allows people to create their own personalised plan, which can provide you with practical strategies and helpful links and resources suitable for your current needs.

For after-hours support we recommend contacting Lifeline or Beyond Blue.


I’m looking for cancer support services near me, where do I start?

Cancer Council Victoria’s online ‘My Cancer Guide’ is the perfect place to find support services close to where you live. The online guide lists over 450 cancer support services located around Victoria. You can search by postcode, type of cancer or service type. Visit www.cancervic.org.au/cancer-support-services.

If you have any questions that you’d like to ask a nurse, call our 13 11 20 Cancer Support Line, we’re here to help

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Questions about cancer?

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

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