Health professionals who can help

See the table below for the type of health professionals that may be able to help you.


Your GP can assist you with treatment decisions and works in partnership with your specialists in providing ongoing care. They can refer you to other health professionals for support with managing emotions or thoughts. Check with your GP whether you can access Medicare rebates for sessions with a psychologist or social worker.

cancer care team

The team at your hospital or treatment centre will often include social workers, psychologists,  psychiatrists and spiritual care practitioners. If you let your cancer specialist, cancer care coordinator or cancer nurse know how you are feeling, they can arrange for you to see these other health professionals as needed.

psycho- oncologist

A psycho-oncologist is a social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist who has specialised in the field of cancer care (oncology). They provide support to people with cancer and their families, and often work in hospitals and cancer treatment centres.


Counsellors can listen to what’s going on in your life  and offer strategies for dealing with issues. They do not need to have any qualifications to practise, although many do, so it’s a good idea to check before making an appointment. Counselling may be available through your local Cancer Council – call 13 11 20 to find out.

 social worker

Social workers provide emotional support, offer practical and financial assistance, and help people find support services. They must complete a four-year undergraduate or two-year postgraduate degree.


Psychologists often develop expertise  in particular approaches – those who specialise in counselling use their understanding of the mind to guide clients through issues with how they think, feel and learn. A registered psychologist must complete four years of psychology at undergraduate level, followed by either postgraduate studies in psychology or two years of supervised clinical practice.

mental health nurse

The role of a mental health nurse includes assessing people, giving medicines and assisting in behaviour modification programs. They must be a registered nurse who has completed further study in mental health nursing.


A psychiatrist is a trained medical doctor who specialises   in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illness. As well as providing psychological support and discussing issues with patients, a psychiatrist may prescribe medicines to help manage a range of emotional conditions. You  need a referral from your GP to see a psychiatrist.

spiritual care practitioner

Also known as a pastoral carer, a spiritual care practitioner is often a member of the team at hospitals and cancer treatment centres. They can discuss emotional and spiritual matters and help you reflect on your life and search for meaning. They can also arrange prayer services and other religious rituals, if appropriate.

Cancer Council

If you just want to talk through your concerns or you’re not sure where to go for help, you can talk to a health professional at Cancer Council by calling 13 11 20. See Get support for more on this.

Listen to our podcast on Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on emotions and cancer.

Printed copies are available for free - Call 13 11 20 to order

Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit:


To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit:

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit:

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.

This information was last reviewed in January 2019
View who reviewed this content
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