“Support” can refer to any services required by those affected by cancer, including self-help and support, information, psychological support, symptom control, social support, rehabilitation, spiritual support, palliative care and bereavement care. LMICS has developed an interactive map where you can locate many supportive care services in your local area. Go to the Regional Map and Loddon Mallee Directory
Supportive care in cancer refers to the following five domains of need:
LMICS has recently developed a Supportive Care Brochure for patients and carers in the Loddon Mallee Region. Please click here to access the brochure. Bendigo Health has also recently reviewed the Supportive Care Screening Tool (used by patient and clinician), please click here to view the form.
Whether you have cancer or you know a friend, colleague or family member who does, you can call the Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 to talk with one of their experienced, understanding cancer nurses. For further information on the Victorian Cancer Council, click the following link:
Cancer Council Victoria have also released a one-stop shop patient support resource which provides a roadmap of Victorians affected by cancer, directing you to local services and information in your area. Click here to access the page
Support and advice for carers – 1800 242 636
Information, resources and support services related to cancer. www.wecan.org.au
This resource provides information related to accommodation, parking, transport, social work, cultural support, emotional support and financial, assistance for patients and their families who have to travel to Melbourne for cancer treatment www.lmics.org.au
Survivorship focuses on the health and life of a person with cancer post treatment until the end of life. It covers the physical, psychosocial, and economic issues of cancer, beyond the diagnosis and treatment phases. Survivorship includes issues related to the ability to get health care and follow-up treatment, late effects of treatment, second cancers, and quality of life. Family members, friends, and caregivers are also considered part of the survivorship experience.
In the Loddon Mallee Region there are many survivorship programs supporting cancer patients and their families. These have emerged due to the strong evidence around the benefit of exercise in oncology care. Exercise can improve physical functioning, fatigue, anxiety, and self-esteem as well as cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and body composition.
Please enquire at your local health service or via your GP for a list of survivorship/oncology rehab programs that maybe available within the region.
For more information contact: the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre
Cancer Support Groups may involve people with cancer and, sometimes, family and friends, meeting regularly to talk about common issues. They can:
Support groups often meet at hospitals or community venues. Some groups have a specific-cancer focus (i.e. breast cancer, prostate cancer etc.) while other are open to any affected by any type of cancer.
For further information on the Victorian Cancer Councils, click the following link:
Mental Health Resources
Australia has great mental health services and resources, but it can be tough finding the ones that suit you best. This search Head to Health is made easier by hand picking resources from publicly funded providers.
Palliative care is care provided to people of all ages who have a life limiting illness, with little or no prospect of cure, and for whom the primary treatment goal is quality of life. You can discuss this with your specialist or GP or find out more about what is available in your local area by going to the Regional Palliative Care Consortium
Advanced Care Planning (ACP)
Advance Care Planning promotes care that is consistent with a person’s goals, values, beliefs and preferences. It prepares the person and other to plan for future health care, for a time when the person may no longer be able to communicate those decision themselves.
What would happen if you became very sick and couldn’t make your own decisions? Who would make medical decisions for you? Do they know what your wishes are and what you want?
ACP involves talking with your family and close friends and writing down what type of health care you may or may not wish to receive if you become seriously ill and/or unable to speak for yourself. ACP makes things easier for your family and you by preventing confusion and conflict over medical decision making. It is about people taking control of their health care wishes now and in the future. This is especially relevant near the end of life. This means your specific treatment wishes as well as your goals, values and preferences are known and can be respected by health providers and those closest to you.