We’re working hard to change the story for cancer patients, survivors, their carers and families in NSW through raising awareness of our 13 11 20 Information and Support Services. Read on to learn more about why this is so important.
Over two thirds of people aren’t aware of the support available
In a recent study we conducted, we found that as much as 70% of people in NSW are unaware of the free information and support services available to them if they become affected by cancer.
With over 53,000 people predicted to be diagnosed with cancer in NSW in 2023, we’re on a mission to ensure more of them are aware that we’re here to support them. Anyone affected by cancer can call our 13 11 20 Information and Support line to be connected to many other services, such as Transport to Treatment.
As Kashka Bochnyska, the Manager of Direct Cancer Support at Cancer Council NSW, puts it: “Cancer can be a lonely journey. When anyone needs to talk about cancer we want them to know 13 11 20 is here for them.”
“We receive around 730 calls and emails to 13 11 20 a month, but we know there are many more people in our community who have been impacted by cancer and might need us.”
How Terry accessed support throughout his cancer journey
After a trip to the dentist to have a tooth removed, Terry Malone was shocked to learn that the pain he was feeling was due to having bone cancer in his jaw. Terry was overwhelmed with not only this cancer diagnosis, but how he was going to be able to get to Newcastle, a seven-hour drive from his home, for his surgery to remove the cancer.
“After some procrastination, having no knowledge of what they could do to help me, I made the call.”
After speaking with a 13 11 20 healthcare professional, Terry was connected to the closest Cancer Council NSW local office who listened to his story and began to make arrangements for his surgery transport. It was decided a Cancer Council NSW Transport to Treatment volunteer driver, would take him to the airport to fly to Newcastle and there would be another Transport to Treatment volunteer waiting to pick him up and help with any transport needs he may have during his stay.
We’re proud to say that our free transport service took away a lot of the financial and logistical stress Terry had been facing. But more than this, it enabled him to focus on getting through treatment.
“As time progressed, everything started to fall into place, and I felt like all the fears I had were no longer present,” he explains.
“That took an incredible amount of pressure off me and left me with the responsibility of being a good patient and recovering as quickly as possible.”
The services available to people affected by cancer
Our 13 11 20 healthcare professionals can connect people with many services including:
Emotional and practical support such as counselling or transport to treatment.
Information about prevention, risk factors, screening, early detection and diagnosis.
General information about cancer treatment, side effects management, including relevant publications.
Information about palliative care and survivorship.
These services are not only available to those who are diagnosed with cancer but also their carers, families and anyone with any questions about cancer.