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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.

  • 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.

  • 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 [...]

  • Discussing your child’s cancer over social media

    If you’re a parent, you may be wondering how to talk about your child’s cancer over social media. The Paediatric Integrated Cancer Service (PICS) has created a factsheet to help you carefully use social media websites and emails to share and discuss your child’s cancer information. On the website it says: “Responsible use of social media by parents and, more so, teenagers, is critical to safeguard your family’s privacy regarding personal information and information about your child’s cancer diagnosis and treatment. There are potential risks and dangers that may not be apparent at present but may prove harmful later on in 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]

  • Financial checkups after childhood cancer

    Childhood cancer survivors need financial checkups as adults. The US website Marketwatch explains that in addition to health checkups, cancer survivors will need financial checkups post treatment too. The article referenced a study published by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in New York City. The study included almost 3,000 long-term paediatric cancer survivors aged between 18 and 65. “More than half said they were worried about paying for care and one-third said finances kept them from seeking medical care. (They were, on average, 23 years from their diagnosis and all had been treated at St. Jude.)”     Beyond the impact that 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 [...]

  • 10 tips for coping with scanxiety by a cancer survivor

    As the name suggests, scanxiety is the anxiety a person feels in the lead-up to a cancer-detecting scan. It also includes the anxiety when waiting for the results after a scan. On Cure Today, childhood cancer survivor Tori Tomalia talks about her 10 tips for coping with scanxiety. Tori was cancer-free for over 20 years before she was diagnosed with lung cancer. The mother of three is also a wife, theatre artist, writer and lung cancer awareness advocate. Since her diagnosis in 2013 she has been having scans every three months. She says, “The week or so leading up to my Read more [...]

  • “Cancer anger”, explained by a therapist

    “Cancer anger” is a common experience for people facing cancer. In this Mighty article on cancer anger, therapist Karin Sieger explains: What is cancer anger? When does it happen? Who gets it? And what can you do about it?  “Cancer anger is a normal response to fear, despair and grief – a range of feelings which cancer brings into our lives. It can show as frustration, irritability, emotional withdrawal or aggression. You can feel it whether you have been diagnosed or you are a relative or friend. Cancer anger can happen at any stage of the illness, even years after treatment.” –  Karin Sieger Have you 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 [...]

  • For teachers: Cancer in the school community

    This booklet from Camp Quality offers tips for supporting children facing cancer in the school environment. This may include children with cancer, siblings of children with cancer, or children who have a parent with cancer. For any school experiencing cancer, it is important that teachers and support staff are equipped to educate the children about cancer and answer any difficult questions. Common questions from classmates include: How did they get sick? Can I catch it? Should I share things that are bothering me? They seem silly or trivial compared to what my friend is going through. What am I supposed Read more [...]

  • 8 lessons in childhood cancer

    The Kids Cancer Project has published a personal story by Sarah Weir who offers her eight lessons in childhood cancer. She writes: “Life for our family changed forever in 2013 when our two-year-old baby girl was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. For four years, Evie Grace endured surgeries and seemingly endless treatment only to relapse four times before gaining her angel wings on 19 December 2017. Throughout our cancer journey, because my husband Josh and daughter Alicia shared it too, there were moments of extreme joy alongside the heart wrenching pain. Here are a few lessons I learned along the way.” Her lessons include: Read more [...]

  • Bald Cartoons – free posters and profile pics

    Bald Cartoons is a Brazilian website featuring a range of famous cartoon characters with their heads shaved to help children with cancer not feel ‘different’. The website and heartwarming video below was created by cancer advocacy group GRAACC. The video shows the reactions of children when they see bald characters including Garfield, Hello Kitty and Snoopy. The website also allows families to print out posters or download social media profile pics. Cancer Advisor has a range of resources on wellbeing, but we’re always looking for more content. Leave a comment below, share your own story or recommend a resource.

  • 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 [...]

  • 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 [...]