- Cancer Information
- Coping with a diagnosis
- Emotions and cancer
- Getting support
- Other sources of support
Other sources of support
It’s not unusual for people to find themselves alone at some points in their life. Having a serious illness when you feel that you have no close family or friends can be especially hard, but you don’t have to try to cope by yourself. The hospital social worker can link you with local services. Other sources of support could include not-for-profit organisations, including Cancer Council and cancer-specific groups (such as Breast Cancer Network Australia and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia), and faith-based groups. If you have children, formal or informal school-based assistance, such as the school counsellor, may be available. Learn more about some sources of practical and financial assistance.
If you want to talk about the diagnosis or how you’re coping with treatment and side effects, you may want to connect with a support group, either in person, over the phone or online. You may feel supported and relieved to know that others understand what you are going through and that you are not alone.
In a support group, people often feel they can speak openly and share tips with others who have gone through a similar experience. You may find that you are more comfortable talking about your diagnosis and treatment, your relationships with friends and family, and your hopes and fears for the future. Some people say they can be even more open and honest in these support groups because they aren’t trying to protect those close to them.
To find out which support groups are available in your area, call Cancer Council 13 11 20 or ask your nurse or social worker.
Dr Anna Hughes, Liaison Psychiatrist and Psycho-oncologist, Canberra Region Cancer Centre, Canberra Hospital, ACT; Mary Bairstow, Senior Social Worker, Cancer Centre, Fiona Stanley Hospital, WA; Anita Bamert, Psychologist, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria, VIC; Sally Carveth, Assistant Coordinator, Cancer Support Leader Program, Cancer Council NSW; Matt Featherstone, Consumer; Dr Charlotte Tottman, Clinical Psychologist, Allied Consultant Psychologists and Flinders University, SA; Shirley Witko, Senior Social Worker, Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA.
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