With more than 200 different known cancers, navigating what a cancer diagnosis means can be overwhelming for patients
Every year in NSW alone, more than 48,000 new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed, having a devastating impact on families, carers and communities.
The Cancer Council can help people deal with their diagnosis and what challenges they may face as a result of the disease.
One of the many ways Cancer Council supports those affected is through the 13 11 20 Information and Support Service.
13 11 20 is a free confidential service available to anyone in the community.
It provides the opportunity for patients or their families to speak with a specialist health professional confidentially about anything to do with their cancer journey.
These professionals can answer questions, provide support and referrals to appropriate support programs or financial assistance.
Cancer Council NSW Community Programs Coordinator Megan Mattingly said the service provided access to peer support, financial and legal referral services, home and transport assistance and Cancer Council’s publications and DVDs about cancer.
“13 11 20 acts as a major referral pathway for Cancer Council’s programs and services. It is the central point of contact for all cancer related services from anywhere in NSW. It’s available nationally with trained facilitators, referring callers to local cancer support services as well as Cancer Council support resources and programs,” Ms Mattingly said.
In the last financial year, Cancer Council NSW received 12,225 calls and emails to 13 11 20.
Sixty per cent of those were referred to additional support services for practical and emotional support.
Ms Mattingly said those needing support or who had questions about cancer in the Southern Highlands were encouraged to call 13 11 20.
The 13 11 20 Information and Support service is open weekdays between 9am and 5pm.
Callers outside these hours can leave a message which will be returned the next business day.
Cancer Council Information and Support Service is available by contacting 13 11 20 by phone or by completing the form at www.cancercouncil.com.au/contact-us/.
The service compliments Cancer Council NSW’s General And Practical Support service and Patient Transport Bus available for patients in the Highlands.
For more information call the Southern Regional Office on 4223 0200.