Your doctor or relevant members of your multidisciplinary health care team (your oncologist, surgeon, specialist, nurses, social workers or other health professionals) should be the first ones you call on for any concerns.

In general, specialists should be able to help with matters related to your cancer. You may find that the health professional you are closest to, such as the nurse or social worker, may be the best person to speak to about other personal and social concerns. If you are not sure, ask your doctor about where you might find the support you need.

If you are looking for further information on local support services, your community health centre may be able to help with suggestions and contacts. Another helpful resource is the Cancer Council Helpline (phone 13 11 20 anywhere in Australia at the cost of a local call), where experienced professionals provide free confidential information and counselling and can put you in touch with other services.
 
The Carer Gateway (Freecall 1800 422 737 ) provide information for older people, people with disabilities and ill health and those who undertake a caregiver role. Further information on these services and others, is provided throughout these pages.

Your doctor and community health centre should have information on local palliative care services There are also pages providing you with details about palliative care and how palliative care services can support you and your family.

 

Fact

It is a common misconception that palliative care is the "last stop" for people with advanced cancer.  In fact, palliative care staff and specialists can help you and your family at any stage of your illness after curative treatment, especially given their training and experience in helping people with a wide range of needs and concerns.

 

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Life, Hope & Reality was developed and written by Afaf Girgis, Claire Johnson, and Sylvie Lambert with funding from the NHMRC and Cancer Council NSW.

Last updated 30 August 2015