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    Ben’s story: ‘Cancer has taught me a lot’

    Diagnosis & treatment After having a sore on his neck for a few weeks Ben decided to make an appointment with his local GP in Perth. Although Ben was more preoccupied about the sore, after hearing about Ben’s history of headaches the doctor insisted on getting tests done. A few weeks later, the 23-year-old was told he had a benign brain tumour and needed surgery. However, after testing the biopsy the tumour turned out to be a malignant four centimetre mass. It was classified as stage 2 with characteristics of stage 3 astrocytoma glioma. The mass was on the right Read more [...]

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    Maddy Ritchie: I Don’t Know How She Does It

    Being 17 is complicated enough. Being told you have a rare pelvic tumour can really turn your world upside down. Meet Maddy: she’s now in her early 20s, two years cancer-free and a passionate volunteer with cancer charities. She speaks candidly about treatment, fertility, spirituality and how she got through her experience. From MamaMia’s ‘I Don’t Know How She Does It’ podcast series.

  • Life after childhood cancer treatment

    After the Rain is a short documentary that covers two stories from families about life after childhood cancer treatment – created by the Victorian Paediatric Integrated Cancer Services (PICS). You can also find a podcast series on what to expect after finishing treatment, and a “coming off treatment” handbook. On the website it says, “When treatment ends, families may feel excited about the future. Completing treatment is often an anticipated and celebrated milestone. However, it may be surprising to discover mixed feelings about coming off treatment. The coming off treatment handbook and immunisation after cancer treatment has finished resources have been designed to support families Read more [...]

  • Navigating finances – using insurance during cancer

    If you’re facing cancer, navigating insurance entitlements might not be on your radar. We’ve found some resources that could help you understand the various insurance entitlements out there and how you can access them. Have we missed something? If there is a finance question you need answered, please don’t hesitate to let us know and we will do what we can to answer it for you. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on finances and cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Cancer survivor and amputee’s cute Halloween costume

    The Mighty has shared a very cute story: titled 3-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Proves You Don’t Need Two Arms to Enjoy Halloween. The article is about Scarlette, a three-year-old amputee and cancer survivor. Scarlette and her mother Simone found a fun and creative way to celebrate Halloween. Simone says, “When she was born, which was four weeks early, her left arm was gigantic … It was about three times the size of her right arm. They had no idea what to make of it.” After many tests, Scarlette was diagnosed with undifferentiated high-grade spindle cell sarcoma, a rare type of cancer. “We did a Read more [...]

  • Tosh’s story: how he helped end his daughter’s cancer

    After more than two years of chemotherapy, Tosh Nagashima helped end his daughter’s cancer. Cancer Advisor called him to talk about his family’s experience. In March 2014 four-year-old Bella was diagnosed with high-risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). After arriving at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in an ambulance, Bella started chemotherapy immediately. During treatment, Bella’s father continued to work full-time and take care of their youngest daughter Olivia while his wife Vanie spent day and night in the hospital. “After work I would visit Bella in the hospital every day,” he explains. “It was hard for her younger sister Read more [...]

  • Late effects of childhood cancer treatment

    Cancer.Net has created a video on late effects of childhood cancer treatment. They spoke with Doctor Lisa Diller who is a Member of the American Society of Clinical Oncolgy. Doctor Diller outlines the importance of watching for late effects of treatment for childhood cancer survivors. Doctor Diller describes late effects as the side effects of the cancer treatment that occurs well after the cancer has been cured. She says to think of them as “effecting parts of the body that were detrimentally effected by therapy” such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation. Watch the video below to find out more. Cancer Read more [...]

  • Childhood cancer survivor brings hope to cancer patients

    In this six-minute video we see how a childhood cancer survivor brings hope to young cancer patients. Georgia was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of leukaemia at just eight weeks old. She was also one the youngest Australians to receive a bone marrow transplant. Twenty years on, she has devoted her life to helping children with cancer as a camp leader. In this ABC video that featured on the 7:30 report, her family share their story with the ABC. Cancer Advisor has a range of personal stories, but we are always looking for more content. Register now to contribute content, 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 [...]

  • Rhi’s story: adjusting to a new normal after cancer treatment

    My son Connor was diagnosed with cancer at three years old. Thankfully he is currently in remission. Now that I finally have spare moments to breathe and reflect upon the whole traumatic journey of childhood cancer I have to admit that one of the most difficult parts was coming home. When my son was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma At the time of diagnosis we lived in Collinsville, a small mining community in rural North Queensland. Initially we were flown to Townsville hospital. After three days and much investigation we were transferred to Brisbane via Royal Flying Doctors. Our oncologist Read more [...]

  • Sarcoma survivor advocates for sarcoma awareness

    Dominique Schell is a sarcoma survivor. In her TEDx talk, the 20 year old shares her personal experience of childhood cancer. In this speech, she talks about how as a survivor she feels an obligation to advocate for all the children who die of sarcoma each year. Schell was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at 10 years old, and in the 10 years following had many complications as the result of her initial surgery. She had eight chemotherapy sessions each lasting a week, which she describes as hell. Her side effects included weight loss, cravings, exhaustion, vomiting and hair loss. She says 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • How your general practice team can support you

    This fact sheet from the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre (ACSC) offers information about involving your general practice team in your healthcare following cancer treatment. It offers some key insights and tips: • Your GP is the cornerstone of your healthcare. • Make a long appointment with your GP to develop an after treatment health plan. • Your GP and GPN are well placed to help you manage the effects of cancer treatment. • Your GP and GPN can support you to make healthy lifestyle choices. • Lifestyle changes may help reduce the risk of cancer coming back, and help you Read more [...]

  • “Cancer helped form the person I am” – Sam’s story

    For many years, Sam Alderton-Johnson (30) felt shame and despair when he recalled his memories of suffering from leukaemia as a young boy of 14. “When you’re younger you have this warped idea of what masculinity is,” Sam explains. “I thought that being that very sick kid was a terrible time in my life that I never wanted to engage with, that was until I got older and I realised it had helped form the person I am.” As a teenager, Sam enjoyed sports immensely, however, his life was turned upside down with his diagnosis of leukaemia. He remembers the 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 [...]

  • For teachers: 5 ways to help a student with cancer

    This article by We Are Teachers offers teachers some guidance on how to welcome a child back to school after cancer treatment. Children undergoing cancer treatment often miss significant amounts of class, and returning back to school can be a daunting experience. Teachers have an important role to play in ensuring the child has a smooth transition back into the classroom environment. This article covers some tips for teachers to help: Roll out – or roll up – the red carpet Personalise the learning Include the student in ALL class activities Facilitate friendships Talk to the child about everyday things Cancer Read more [...]

  • Adult sleep problems after childhood cancer

    The American Association of the Advancement of Science has reported that childhood cancer survivors are more likely to experience sleep problems as adults. “Results show that cancer survivors were more likely than siblings to report sleep problems as adults … survivors were 31 percent more likely to report daytime sleepiness and 26 percent more likely to have poor ‘sleep efficiency,’.” The study involved nearly 2000 childhood cancer survivors. “Participants had a mean age of 35 years and a mean time since diagnosis of 23.5 years. The study also involved 380 siblings with a mean age of 33 years.” Cancer Advisor has Read more [...]

  • Post-traumatic stress symptoms after cancer

    Stanford Children’s Health in the USA has put together a list of post-traumatic stress symptoms after childhood and adolescent cancer They say, “It is important that your child receives high quality emotional care during and after cancer treatment to avoid the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).” Cancer Advisor has a range of content on emotional wellbeing, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.