• 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 [...]

  • 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.

  • Danielle’s story: One day at a time

    They say that our first love will stay in our hearts forever. This couldn’t be more true for 26-year Danielle Paparone. At 19 she was swept off her feet by an affable young man with striking blue eyes. After a blissful year together, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. However, treatment was unsuccessful, and he died three years after diagnosis. Danielle shares her incredible love story with Cancer Advisor and tells us how she turns her pain into purpose. “He had very big blue eyes and that’s what drew me in,” Danielle says. Jake first laid his big blue Read more [...]

  • For young adults – cancer and your family

    If you’re a young person diagnosed with cancer you probably have lots of questions about how it will affect your family. While every family is different and has its own strengths and quirks, it may be helpful to consider some common questions. Click on a section below to see some tips and hints, as well as recommendations for further reading. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources for young people facing cancer, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • Neuroblastoma staging

    Cancer Australia’s factsheet provides an overview of neuroblastoma staging and the symptoms and treatment that can be experienced. It covers topics such as risk factors for the disease, how diagnosis is made, and what support services are available. Diagnostic tests will also help indicate the stage of the tumour. Staging determines where the tumour is, how large it is, which nearby organs are involved, and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. This will be important for the treatment team to assess the best options, and to determine the prognosis for your child. See below for a Read more [...]

  • From cancer patient to university graduate

    In this story published by UNSW, Adry Awan talks about how he went from cancer patient to university graduate. Below he talks a bit about why he wrote this piece. When I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of testicular cancer at the age of 17, I believed that I would not be able to achieve my dream of going to university. I was in year 12 at the time of my diagnosis, working hard to pass the HSC. Like all my classmates, I was ready to reap the rewards of all of my hard work and begin the adventures Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Angus’ story: Being a transgender childhood cancer survivor

    On the New Zealand website, Stuff, a transgender cancer survivor shares his story of his upcoming mastectomy. Angus Coleman was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis (LCH) at just 16 months old. LCH is a rare type of cancer that can damage tissue or cause lesions to form in one or more places in the body. During his time with cancer, Angus had ongoing treatment from an endocrinologist which is now helping him take his next steps in his gender transition. “I was actually set up with an endocrinologist back when I was diagnosed with langerhans cell histiocytosis  [rare cancer]which is actually the doctor you need Read more [...]

  • Support for grandparents of kids with cancer

    Grandparents of Kids with Cancer is a web page which offers support for grandparents around the world, giving them a place to share their experiences with other people who have a grandchild with cancer. They advocate for the important role that grandparents play in the family, and acknowledge the emotional and practical needs of grandparents. On the website they say, “Being told that your grandchild has cancer is devastating. Not only is your grandchild going through the most traumatic experience, but your own child is also facing the worst pain imaginable. Talking to other grandparents who are going through the Read more [...]

  • Coping with cancer at university

    In this article on UK news website The Guardian, Robin Cannone shares his personal experience of university as a young person with cancer. Cannone was diagnosed with a type of lymphoma, the most common cancers among 15- to 24-year-olds, representing 21% of diagnoses in the UK. I was looking through my hospital room window and imagining what I’d be doing if I hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer. I wanted to be going clubbing and worrying about university deadlines like a normal 20-year-old – not stuck indoors with a syringe in my arm. -Robin Cannone, young person with cancer Cannone acknowledges the important part that Read more [...]

  • Cancer survivor creates empathy cards

    Emily McDowell has created these empathy cards for people with serious illnesses. As a cancer survivor herself, Emily understands that sometimes people don’t know what to say to someone when they are diagnosed with cancer. “The most difficult part of my illness wasn’t losing my hair, or being erroneously called ‘sir’ by Starbucks baristas, or sickness from chemo. It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.” – Emily McDowell These quirky empathy cards will Read more [...]