We know that cancer can make people feel isolated and that the point of diagnosis can be an overwhelming time.
After the shock of a cancer diagnosis, but before you get overwhelmed, call Cancer Council’s experienced cancer nurses on 13 11 20.
They're here to help you make sense of what you're going through, fill in the blanks, talk through what your diagnosis means, and help you find support services near you.
Cancer Council Victoria’s Clem Byard, a 13 11 20 cancer nurse, has noticed a significant increase in the number of enquiries during and after the COVID pandemic.
“We frequently hear from people who are experiencing emotional distress due to the impacts of cancer,” Clem said. “We work with people to assess the nature of their distress, and if needed, can put referrals in place to qualified counsellors.”
Clem said one of the best things about 13 11 20 is that calls are not time restricted.
“If they’re needing simple information, we can provide this quickly. But if they have lots of things they are dealing with, we can devote more time with them. We can slow down and prioritise what it is they need real help with,” he added.
Elaine Cook, a Cancer Council Victoria 13 11 20 cancer nurse operating in Geelong, is particularly motivated to connect with regional communities.
“No matter where they live, everyone has access to support,” she said. “Cancer is part of life, but it can’t overtake your life. You’re still a person in all of that.”
Speak to a cancer nurse who really knows cancer and know you're not alone. You can call us on 13 11 20, request a call back or email your question to us. The cancer support line is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.