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    Explainer: What is nanomedicine and how can it improve childhood cancer treatment?

    The Conversation has published an article about how Australian researchers are looking at how they can use nanomedicine to improve the side effects of cancer treatment for children. What is nanomedicine?  Nano means tiny – a nanometre is one-billionth of a metre! – and nanomedicine is the use of nanoparticles in medicine. This article talks about using nanoparticles to transport drugs to places they wouldn’t be able to go on their own. How does that help with side effects?  Nanoparticles can be designed to: better target cancer cells, which means less damage to healthy cells break down into harmless byproducts transport Read more [...]

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    Clinical trials bring hope – Lesley and Casey’s story

    On the Dell’s Children website, a mother and father share their story about how clinical trials brought hope to their family during their son’s cancer treatment. Rex was 17 months old when he was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma. The article says: “Upon Rex’s diagnosis, Lesley and her husband, Casey, knew their family faced a long, uphill battle.  High-risk neuroblastoma is an aggressive and deadly form of childhood cancer, and the odds for survival were not in their child’s favor.  They agreed to enroll Rex into a clinical trial study using an experimental drug, Unituxin, for children with high-risk neuroblastoma.” In this Read more [...]

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    How kindness can make a difference in cancer care

    The Conversation has published an article on how kindness can make a difference in cancer care. It says, “Cancer may not be life-ending, but it usually is life-changing. A cancer diagnosis instantaneously turns life upside down for patients and families. Cancer care is a “high-emotion” service, and the care team must not only effectively treat the disease but also address patients’ intense emotions.” The article explores how six types of kindness can improve cancer care. They are: deep listening, empathy, generous acts, timely care, gentle honesty and support for family caregivers. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on wellbeing, but we Read more [...]

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    Lumber puncture and bone marrow aspirate

    The Hush Foundation and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne has produced a 12-minute video for children undergoing procedures such as lumber puncture and bone marrow aspirate. The video covers: Feeling worried; What are procedures such as lumber puncture and bone marrow aspirate; How to get ready for these procedures; Going under anaesthetic; and Waking up after the procedure. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for parents of children with cancer, but we are always looking for more content. Register now to contribute content, recommend a resource, or share your personal story.

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Australian children’s cancer clinical trials registry

    The Australian and New Zealand Haemotolgy/Oncology Centre (ANZCHOG) has created a children’s cancer clinical trials registry. On the website it says: “This registry lists all clinical trials open to children and adolescents with cancer or blood disorders currently in progress at children’s cancer centres in Australia. This information should be used in conjunction with advice from health care professionals.” ANZCHOG also answers FAQs such as: What is a clinical trial? What does it mean for my child? Who should I talk to about potential clinical trials? How can I receive more information? Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on 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 [...]

  • Advice for kids who have a friend with cancer

    If your child’s friend is diagnosed with cancer, you might be wondering how this could impact your child and what steps you can take to help them. We hope these resources have been helpful. If we’ve missed something, please let us know. We want to help you find what you’re looking for. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources with practical tips, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Childhood cancer: Reflections from a sister

    In this short video from the American Cancer Society, Sophie opens up about what it’s like to be sister to a child with cancer. Sophie’s brother was just three years old when he was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma. Although her brother survived his cancer, Sophie talks about the lasting emotional impact it has had on her. She talks about her experience as a sibling, noting that cancer had a profound impact on her formative years. When a child or a young person is diagnosed with cancer, the enormity of this is felt throughout the family. In particular, siblings of any age feel the 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 [...]

  • Who is who in your treating team at hospital

    If you are about to go to hospital for cancer treatment you might be wondering who is who in your treating team at hospital. Canteen has published a list of who is who in a hospital medical team. “They could be involved in: Administering treatment, Giving you information and advice. Or simply supporting you and your family during this time” The treating team includes: Medical Oncologist Radiation Oncologist Surgical Oncologist Radiologist Oncology Nurse Specialist Registered Nurse Registrar Resident/Intern It also discusses the roles of a social worker, physiotherapist, clinical psychologist and a dietitian. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on the Read more [...]

  • Celebrating oncology nurses

    When it comes to cancer treatment, oncology nurses who care for teenagers and children are an integral part to a treatment team. Nurses can also transform a hospital experience – they can become an advocate, a teacher, a healer and in some cases, even a friend. To celebrate paediatric and teenage oncology nurses, we’ve found some videos that highlight how nurses have impacted the lives of their patients. Watch the videos now and tell us in the comments which is your favourite. Please note: These videos were filmed in the US and the UK. However, we’d love to share stories and Read more [...]

  • Supporting sleep in young cancer patients

    Sleeping difficulties are common among children and adolescents, and cancer patients are no exception. In fact, children with cancer are especially susceptible to difficult sleep and need particular support to get the rest needed for health and recovery. Why Sleep is Difficult for Young People With Cancer Whether in a hospital setting or undergoing treatment at home, young people with cancer may experience disturbed sleep due to environmental conditions, side effects, and schedules. In a hospital setting, young cancer patients may be disturbed by environmental conditions, including sounds and lights throughout the night (and daytime, if napping). Disruptions from medical Read more [...]

  • Nutrition tips for children during cancer treatment

    You’re probably aware that nutrition plays a huge part in a child’s overall health and wellbeing at any stage of their lives. However, did you know that nutrition may also help your child to better tolerate their cancer treatment, fight infection and assist with their recovery? Here’s what the experts have to say about the best way to approach nutrition during a child’s cancer treatment. Also, please go easy on yourself and remember that it’s okay to be flexible and cut corners while your child is in hospital. It won’t cause any harm if you serve Weet-bix for dinner or 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 [...]

  • Total body irradiation

    Total body irradiation (TBI) is the term used when radiotherapy is given to the whole body. Radiotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses high energy rays, similar to x-rays. TBI may be used in conjunction with high dose chemotherapy drugs. This is often used in preparation for a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.  This fact sheet from the Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) provides information on total body irradiation. The resource gives an overview of: What is total body irradiation? Getting ready for total body irradiation What is it like? Taking care of your child during total body Read more [...]

  • Working through treatment

    In this 11-minute TED Talk, lawyer Sarah Donnelly talks about her experiences working through treatment for breast cancer.  You can find a range of resources on work and study here. “Back at work I handed over the urgent things (…) but at that moment work wasn’t my priority. I was thinking how I was going to tell my friends and family I had cancer. I was wondering if my partner and I would ever have an opportunity to start a family (…) Work was about to play a huge role in my treatment and recovery. My job that would give me Read more [...]