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    Germs, genetics and childhood leukaemia

    Mel Greaves received a knighthood late last year for his research into why children develop leukaemia. In this article from The Guardian, he explains how it’s now understood that a combination of genetic mutations in the womb, and chronic inflammation in response to infection, can lead to leukaemia developing. Greaves is currently working on a ‘cocktail of microbes’ that could block the inflammation response, potentially reducing the risk of leukaemia and other diseases.

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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.

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    Cognitive difficulties after brain cancer

    The Conversation outlines the ways that cancer in a child’s brain has the potential to impact their overall future health and cause long-term disturbances to the central nervous system of survivors.intro Known as ‘late effects’, these cognition and communication difficulties can affect personal and social development. Early intervention can lessen the impact of such difficulties on survivors.   Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on brain cancer and late effects, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.  

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    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 [...]

  • Re-Mission 2 – a video game for kids with cancer

    Re-Mission 2 games is an online video game created by Hopelab. The game aims to give kids and young adults with cancer a sense of power and control. The website say the games “help kids and young adults with cancer take on the fight of their lives. Based on scientific research, the games provide cancer support by giving players a sense of power and control and encouraging treatment adherence.” All six Re-Mission 2 games can be played online for free. The Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge mobile app is available for download on iOS. “In 2014, Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge, our cancer-fighting mobile app for iOS 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • “How bravery beads help us” – Nic and Izzy’s story

    On Cancer Advisor, Nic shares why her daughter, Izzy, uses bravery beads. Mothers Day 2018 will be a day that I will never forget. My 12-year-old daughter was diagnosed with AML – Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. We were admitted to Westmead Children’s Hospital and a few days later a beautiful French speaking Lady, Anne, came into our room. She gave Izzy the choice of a cloth bag and then presented her with what would become her journey of beads. The journey would start with some coloured beads, her name and a love heart. At the time it did not seem like Read more [...]

  • Advice on problems paying your mortgage

    The Australian Government website, Money Smart, offers advice to help you manage your mortgage if you’re having problems with your repayments. The website provides the steps a lender can take if you fall behind on your repayments, and the details of where you can get help. It covers how to contact your lender; get help with your repayments; the steps a lender can take if you are behind on mortgage repayments; and traps to avoid slipping further into debt.” Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on finances and cancer, but we are always looking for more content. Register now to contribute content, Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Soft tissue sarcoma

    This web page from Cancer Australia gives an overview of soft tissue sarcomas, and where they can develop. It also provides information about risk factors, symptoms, and different aspects of the cancer experience. Follow the links below to read more on each topic, or browse our other resources on soft tissue sarcomas for more information. You can also look at our phases of the cancer journey page to find information specific to diagnosis, treatment, or life after cancer. Risk factors Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment Support The cells of connective tissues – such as muscles, fat, blood vessels and lining of joints Read more [...]

  • Evaluating health information on the internet

    The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network has created a factsheet called Evaluating health information on the internet to help you navigate health information. It says, “It is important to evaluate the information you have found during a search on the Internet to make sure it is accurate and comes from a reliable source. When evaluating, think critically and don’t accept any information at face value.” The factsheets also suggests that you ask yourself questions such : Who is responsible for the website or social media channel? Is the information accurate? Is the information objective? Is the information up-to-date? Does the content of Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Relaxation tips for parents of children with chronic illness

    Dell Children’s Medical Centre has created a video sharing relaxation tips and techniques for parents from a child psychologist. The video features Doctor Puja Patel, PhD,  a child psychologist. She talks about the benefits of relaxation and specific relaxation techniques to help you focus and re-energise to better handle stress. In the video she says, “Having a child with a chronic illness can be very stressful. It’s important to learn strategies to relax.” The video then goes on to say that relaxation helps calm your mind, increases your sense of control, and helps your child cope. Watch this video to Read more [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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.