A cancer diagnosis can turn your life upside down. Facing a serious illness and a long treatment journey can be extremely daunting, so to help make things a little easier for you we will be bringing you a regular ‘coping with cancer’ series. These articles will offer a range of advice and information on various issues from nutrition to finances. We will also provide advice on how best to connect with our relevant support services so you can spend more time focusing on the things you love.
Today, we’re talking emotions. When it comes to cancer, there is no right way to feel – experiencing a range of emotions is normal and everyone will cope differently. You may feel stressed, anxious or uncertain and these feelings are all a natural reaction to a serious health situation. However, you can explore ways to manage these feelings before they overwhelm you. We provide a range of emotional support services and resources that can help to make things a little easier for you, whether you're the patient, carer, friend or loved one.
If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer, you may find it helpful to talk to a professional counsellor who has experience in dealing with cancer related issues. We can connect you with this service, which is provided for minimal or no cost through our 13 11 20 phone line. Counselling is available face to face or over the phone and can be conducted in both metropolitan and regional areas.
Cancer Support Groups
Our cancer support groups offer a confidential, supportive place to share experiences, learn from, and connect with others affected by cancer. Our groups are run by trained facilitators, and can be conducted face to face, online, or by telephone.
We recognise that some people with cancer find talking to someone who has been through a similar experience both reassuring and encouraging. Cancer Connect is a one-on-one telephone peer support program that is managed by Cancer Council Victoria. We have an agreement that enables you to access this program so that you can speak with a specially trained volunteer from Victoria who has had a similar cancer and treatment to you. The volunteers are able to listen to your concerns, provide understanding, practical advice and emotional support to help you through your cancer journey.
We use the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Distress Thermometer and Problem List to evaluate the level of distress a person is experiencing and identify when they require additional support. Your responses to the problem list help us to identify issues that are of concern to you and offer suitable support services.
You can find more information on the services we provide in our Emotions and Cancer booklet.
You can find additional information about coping with the emotional effects of cancer here.
You don’t have to face the stresses of cancer alone. Whether you are looking for trustworthy information or simply need someone to listen to your immediate concerns, we can support you, your family and friends.