Cancer Connect

What is Cancer Connect peer support?

Cancer Council WA 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.  Cancer Council WA  has 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.  

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Who is Cancer Connect for?

People recently diagnosed with cancer

Partners, parents, family or friends of people caring for someone with a cancer diagnosis

Cancer survivors

People carrying a gene that increases their risk of
developing cancer

Who are the Cancer Connect volunteers?

About our Cancer Connect peer support volunteers

  •  Are at least two years past their treatment
  • They all have completed a two-day induction training course and also receive ongoing education and support in their role
  • They are not able to give medical advice or provide professional counselling
  • They are able to provide short term telephone support

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How do I arrange to speak with a Cancer Connect volunteer?  

Call 13 11 20 and speak to one of our cancer nurses or email using our registration form.
Describe your circumstances and the coordinator will arrange to match you with a volunteer who has had the same cancer and treatment as you or who shares a similar age and lifestyle.

Calls are confidential and the service can also be multilingual.

This program is kindly made available to West Australians via the Cancer Council Victoria website.

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Cancer Connect for people recently diagnosed

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a very confusing and upsetting time. You may be feeling sad and anxious and unsure about what the future holds. Talking to someone who has already been through the experience can be helpful.

A Cancer Connect volunteer can listen to your concerns and  talk to you about their experience, including treatments, side effects and coping strategies.

Who is not eligible for Cancer Connect?

  • secondary/advanced cancer
  • mental illness/complex needs
  • someone who has requested professional counselling rather than volunteer support
  • family member in need of bereavement counselling

If your cancer has advanced or you are not eligible for this service and you would like to talk to someone, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 and speak to a cancer nurse. The nurses can listen to your concerns and link you to other services.

Family Cancer Connect

It can be stressful when a partner, family member or friend is diagnosed with cancer. You may be worried about the treatment they’re having and how unwell the person is feeling. You may also feel a range of emotions including fear and grief and it can be helpful to talk to a person who has supported someone else through cancer. Our ‘family’ connect volunteers offer an opportunity to share experiences and discuss ways to cope with the changes in your life.

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Survivors Cancer Connect

Many cancer survivors have concerns about their future and find it difficult to cope after treatment has finished. You may have experienced changes in the way you look, feel, communicate or mobilise following treatment.  Our ‘survivor’ volunteers have been through the emotional rollercoaster that a cancer diagnosis presents. They listen to your concerns and offer support that help you adjust to the changes in your life.

Trial Connect

Trial Connect is a new pilot program being trialled for patients who have been offered a trial and want someone who has been on a cancer trial to see what the experience is like. Please note: It is not for matching people with the same trial.  Please email askanurse@cancervic.org.au

Cancer Connect for people carrying a gene that increases their risk of developing cancer

Discovering that you carry a gene which increases your risk of developing cancer can be frightening. You may face a range of difficult feelings and treatment decisions and feelings of distress are common. Speaking to a gene support volunteer can alleviate some of these concerns. Gene support volunteers are men and women who also carry a cancer susceptibility gene. They have been trained to help others feel less worried and more able to adjust to their situation.

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