Many people find they need support after treatment finishes. The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Some, but not all, services are provided free of charge.
I’ve just passed the five-year mark and had my final appointment with my oncologist – this has been a big relief. In the last year I’ve become involved as a volunteer providing telephone peer support with Cancer Connect.
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Free education programs for cancer patients and survivors are available in some treatment facilities or community centres.
These programs present information about cancer and its treatment, as well as practical information about life after cancer. They are usually also open to carers, family, friends and work colleagues. You may find it helpful to share tips and ideas with other participants.
Cancer Council NSW offers information about living well after cancer through webinars and programs such as ENRICHing Survivorship and Healthy Living After Cancer. These may include sessions on nutrition, exercises to help improve quality of life, mindfulness and adjusting to life following cancer treatment.
Really enjoyed the program. I feel after treatment there is a gap in support for getting back to normal life, I liked that it wasn’t ‘you have to make major changes’ because you don’t stick to it, small changes over time. — Ashley
Getting in touch with other people who have had similar experiences to you can be helpful.
In a support setting, you may find that you are comfortable talking about your diagnosis and treatment, relationships with friends and family, and hopes and fears for the future. Some people say they can be even more open and honest because they aren’t trying to protect their loved ones.
There are many ways to connect with others for mutual support and to share information. These include:
- face-to-face support groups – often held in community centres or hospitals
- peer support programs – match you with someone who has had a similar cancer experience, e.g. Cancer Connect
- group education programs for survivors – often delivered by your local Cancer Council, programs such as ENRICHing Survivorship can help you meet others in a similar situation
- online forums – provide the opportunity to connect with other people anywhere and anytime, g. Cancer Council Online Community.
|Talk to your health care team or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out about support groups and survivorship programs in your area.|
Dr Haryana Dhillon, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Medical Psychology & Evidence-based Decision-making, School of Psychology, University of Sydney, NSW; Polly Baldwin, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Jessica Barbon, Dietitian, Southern Adelaide Health Network, SA; Dr Anna Burger, Liaison Psychiatrist and Senior Staff Specialist, Psycho-oncology Clinic, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, ACT; Elizabeth Dillon, Social Worker, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Prof Paul Glare, Chair in Pain Medicineand Director, Pain Management Research Institute, University of Sydney, NSW; Nico le Kinnane, Nurse Coordinator, Gynaecology Services, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Amanda Piper, Manager, Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Kyle Smith, Exercise Medicine Research Institute, Edith Cowan University, WA; Aaron Tan, Consumer; Dr Kate Webber, Medical Oncologist and Research Director, National Centre for Cancer Survivorship, NSW. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Life after cancer treatment
Programs and support for people who have finished treatment
Cancer Council Online Community
A community forum – a safe place to share stories, get tips and connect with people who understand
ENRICH – a free healthy lifestyle program
A face-to-face exercise and nutrition program for cancer survivors
Legal, financial, workplace and small business assistance
Learn about the range of services we offer that cover legal, financial and workplace that may be related to your cancer diagnosis.
View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends