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    Adult hospitals and treatment centres in Australia

    When it comes to hospital and treatment centres, teenagers and young people facing cancer have a unique set of needs. Where a young person is treated will most likely depend on their age. If you’re a young adult, you’ll go to an adult hospital. However, teenagers can be sent to either a children’s hospital or an adult facility. What hospital you go to may also depend on where you live or even what type of cancer you have. Not all hospitals offer cancer treatment, so you may have to travel, especially if you live in a regional or rural area. Some Read more [...]

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    Advice on friendship during your cancer journey

    This article Cancer and your friends from Redkite offers some advice around friendship during your cancer journey. Often young people find telling their friends about their cancer diagnosis particularly difficult. Even without cancer, people and relationships change – you may find that certain friendships change and new ones may emerge. Some ways to maintain friendships during this time include: Try to be honest and open with them if you can and lean on them when you need to Warn them you may be snappy or angry at times and ask them to forgive you if needed Ask them to keep inviting you Read more [...]

  • Cancer vs VR

    US startup OnComfort is using virtual reality tools to reduce anxiety in cancer patients. Their apps have been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and even the need for pain medication. The five apps use a variety of techniques to achieve this, you can learn more via these links: Aqua – an immersive experience that reduces pain and anxiety by inducing relaxation in an undersea environment AMO – an experience that uses clinical hypnosis techniques to ease pain and anxiety while a patient undergoes a short invasive procedure KIMO – for use in paediatrics, KIMO distracts and empowers patients by enabling them to fight Read more [...]

  • Children’s hospitals in Australia

    Children’s hospitals (also known as paediatric hospitals) specialise in the medical needs of children and teenagers. At children’s hospital the staff are specifically trained in taking care of children and teenagers. Chances are there will also be more child-geared activities on hand such as kids films and child entertainers. Expand the boxes below to learn more about children’s hospitals in each state. Some children’s hospitals do not treat children’s cancer, so you may need to move to a different state for treatment. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for families who need to do this, including personal stories from Read more [...]

  • Leaving hospital

    When a child or young person finishes cancer treatment it can be a time of mixed emotions. Often this is a long anticipated event, and when it feels like they should be happy and celebrating, families may also feel anxious and overwhelmed. Leaving hospital and going home will be a different experience for each person, but Cancer Advisor has some resources on finishing treatment that may be useful. “Leaving hospital can be a scary time for a lot of families. They talk about leaving the safety net of the hospital, leaving their oncology family. Often losing this close support is the Read more [...]

  • Caring for a son with cancer

    This New York Times documentary follows the story of Regina Hensley and her son Andrew as he fights an aggressive form of cancer, Ewing’s Sarcoma. For years, Regina Hensley struggled with addiction, even once attempting suicide. When her son Andrew was born, he gave her a reason to live. But when he received his diagnosis at 13 years old, Regina had to search for meaning once again. ‘Without Andrew, I can’t imagine what life would be about.’ -Regina Hensley In response to the documentary, the Times received almost 100 responses from parents who were caring for a sick child. Cancer Advisor Read more [...]

  • Transport and accommodation assistance NSW

    The Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) is a NSW Government initiative.  Designed to help isolated patients, IPTAAS offer financial assistance towards transport and accommodation costs.  This is for patients who need to travel long distances for specialist medical treatment that is not available locally. To be eligible to claim through IPTAAS you must meet the following criteria: Be a resident of NSW or Lord Howe Island Hold a Medicare card Live more than 100km from the nearest treating specialist or your combined trips to and from the specialist exceeds 200km/week Specialist treatment not available locally Ineligible for any other Read more [...]

  • Advice and information on fatigue caused by brain tumours

    Fatigue can be a challenging side effect of brain tumours. If you have a brain tumour you may be wondering about how you can navigate this side effect. This factsheet from UK organisation The Brain Tumour Charity provides information and practical suggestions for coping with the emotional and physical aspects of fatigue caused by brain tumours. To open the factsheet explains: “Fatigue is often described as a persistent feeling of being tired, weak, worn out, slow or heavy. It is a common symptom for people with all types and grades of brain tumour. Cancer-related fatigue is often talked about, but less acknowledged Read more [...]

  • Keeping your child healthy during cancer remission

    This factsheet from US website familydoctor.org offers some information and tips for parents when their child finishes treatment. Whether your child is in partial or complete remission, you may have questions like ‘what do I do next?’ and fears like ‘what if the cancer comes back?’ This article covers some topics including: Nutrition and exercise, Keeping records of your child’s treatment, and Late effects. To end this resources suggests Questions to ask your doctor such as: What kinds of symptoms should I look for that mean I should call you? What doctors should my child see now that the cancer is Read more [...]

  • Cultural barriers in cancer treatment: Aboriginal communities

    VJOncology (The Video Journal of Oncolgoy) has created a video about the cultural barriers in cancer treatment in regards to Aboriginal communities. In this three minute video, Jasmine Micklem, PhD, of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute talks with Roslyn Weetra, an Aboriginal Elder and cancer survivor. Even though this video was created in South Australia, Doctor Micklem talks about these barriers as a nationwide issue. She opens with, “We found across all of the states there are disparities, particularly around mortality.” She continues that Aboriginal people are diagnosed with cancer at the same rate as other Australians, however, Read more [...]

  • ONTrac at Peter Mac

    The ONTrac at Peter Mac Cancer Service is located at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Victoria, Australia. Their multidisciplinary team of health professionals works together to ensure that young people are supported before, during and after their cancer treatment. This web page includes information on clinical services for young people like: diagnosis and disease management, palliative and survivorship care, general adolescent health, emotional and mental health concerns, fertility and sexual health, physical and nutritional wellbeing, school and vocation support, and family-focused treatments. The service also provides : Secondary consultation service, Professional development, education and training, research and data collection program, Read more [...]

  • Rare Cancers Australia – KnowledgeBase Patient Support Program

    Rare Cancers Australia has developed the KnowledgeBase as a part of their Patient Support Program aimed at providing patients with a centre of knowledge, guidance, advice and hope. The web page includes a wide range of resources including directories for: Cancer Types Cancer Services Health Professionals Support Services Clinical Trials  Childhood cancers are, by definition, rare or less common (RLC) cancers. There are over 200 different types of RLC cancers, so navigating services and treatment can be difficult for patients and their families. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on rare cancers, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave Read more [...]

  • Bereavement and grief

    Bereavement is the loss of someone through death, and grief is our response to loss. The grief that follows a young person’s death lasts a lifetime, and losing a child to cancer is one of the most devastating things that can happen to any family. When your child dies is a booklet from Redkite that uses the real experiences of bereaved parents to help other parents and carers following the death of their child.  It is important to remember that grief is personal and unique – everybody grieves differently and that’s okay. There will be a number of different factors that will Read more [...]

  • Livewire – an online community for teens

    When you’re a teenager with a serious illness, not many people really get what you’re going through – and it can be hard for siblings too. That’s why we’ve created Livewire: a safe community for young people aged 12-20 living with disability, serious illness or a chronic health condition who can do with crew who understand and offer a little extra support. Online, Livewire is a place you can visit any time, knowing you’re always amongst friends who genuinely care. Here, you can swap stories, ask for ideas, and talk about whatever’s going on in your life, from operations, MRIs Read more [...]

  • Looking after yourself during cancer

    This page from Redkite gives an overview of how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally during your cancer journey. A large part of dealing with cancer is learning how to take care of yourself so that you are better prepared for challenges, but also ready to enjoy good things that come your way. Redkite offers tips on: Self-care Looking after your body Looking after your mind Having fun and taking risks Redkite provides a range of support services for young people with cancer including practical tips, financial assistance, and professional counselling. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources Read more [...]

  • Lymphoma Australia resources, hotlines and more

    Lymphoma Australia is the only national charity dedicated to Lymphoma. Lymphoma Australia’s resources include: a factsheet on all you need to know about hodgkin lymphoma and the different subtypes. It explains the cancer, how it is diagnosed, the treatment involved, supports available and treatments under investigation. It is available to download and print from Lymphoma Australia website. a resource booklet for anyone with a new diagnosis of lymphoma including all information you need to know about this cancer, the lymphatic system, how it is diagnosed, different treatments, supports available and clinical trials. It is available to order online, download or print through Read more [...]

  • Kids Kicking Cancer: martial arts therapy

    Kids Kicking Cancer is a not-for-profit organisation that teaches the mind-body techniques of Martial Arts instruction, breath work and meditation to empower children beyond the pain and discomfort of disease. Kids Kicking Cancer now offers help and services to not only cancer patients, but any child in pain from a serious illness. They currently operate the Heroes’ Circle program in America, Canada, Israel and Italy and support ill children and their siblings aged 3-23 years old. Using martial arts therapy, Kids Kicking Cancer staff teaches ill children and their siblings to: Regain a sense of control over the chaos of their Read more [...]

  • The Leila Rose Foundation – dedicated to rare cancer

    The Leila Rose Foundation is dedicated to assisting families affected by rare childhood cancer. The Foundation offers support and guidance to families when faced with the painful reality that little may be known about the cancer affecting their child. With possibly no known cure available, the Foundation assists families to ensure that they have a complete understanding of their child’s cancer, the treatment process and available treatment options so that they feel empowered to make informed choices about their child’s health. The Leila Rose Foundation helps in many ways including assistance with day-to-day expenses, as well as through the provision of Read more [...]

  • Could ‘disease prestige’ impact resources and support?

    In this article, The Conversation discusses ‘disease prestige’ and how it impacts resources and support. The article is titled: When you’re sick, the support you’ll get may depend on the ‘worth’ of your disease and looks at: high vs low prestige diseases, research (including research funding) around disease prestige, disease prestige ranking of 40 conditions and illnesses, and A tale of mental illness, a TED talk by Elyn Saks. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on support services, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital school program

    The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital school program in Queensland caters for children and teenagers from Prep to Year 12. Prep to Year 4 students are taught in the Junior Campus on Stanley Street (located right beside the hospital). Students from Year five to 12 are taught in the classrooms on Level 8 of the hospital. Teachers will also come to you if you are unable to leave the wards. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on school, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.