Practical help and information

Eating well and managing nutrition-related side effects can feel overwhelming. Specially-trained health professionals can offer support and answer questions.

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Accredited practising dietitian

This health professional has a university qualification in science, nutrition and dietetics. Using scientific evidence, they modify people’s diets to help treat disease symptoms and to get the most out of food without the use of supplements.

Dietitians work in all public hospitals and most private hospitals. Ideally, you should see a dietitian connected to your cancer centre. Ask your doctor or nurse to arrange an appointment.

The Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) can also help you locate an Accredited Practising Dietitian in your area, or one who specialises in cancer or has experience with particular clinical conditions. Visit or call 1800 812 942. Dietitians in private practice may also have their own website.

If your doctor refers you to a dietitian as part of a Chronic Disease Management (CDM) plan, you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate for up to five visits per calendar year. Most private health insurers provide a rebate depending on the type and level of cover.

Read more about Accredited Practising Dietitians


The term nutritionist refers to both qualified nutrition scientists and naturopathic nutritionists. Some dietitians also call themselves nutritionists.

Nutritionists working in the natural health industry should have at least a diploma of nutrition, or equivalent, from a university or naturopathic college. Those working within a naturopathic framework are usually employed in private practice or in a holistic medical or complementary therapies centre.

To find an accredited nutritionist, visit the Nutrition Society of Australia website at

Speech pathologist

This health professional studies, diagnoses and treats people having difficulties with speech, language, fluency and voice. Speech pathologists can also help people who have problems swallowing food and drinks. They need a university degree to work in hospitals and the community setting.

To find a speech pathologist, call 1300 368 835 (outside Victoria), 9642 4899 (Victoria only) or visit

This information was last reviewed in May 2016
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