PATIENT SUPPORT AND INFORMATION In 2003/04 we improved our organisational structure so we can play a more dedicated role in supporting and informing patients.
Cancer Helpline In 2003/04, our Cancer Helpline nurses responded to 18,846 calls for counselling and information from people with cancer, family members and the community. A further 1800 calls were directed to our skin cancer information answering service. An advertising campaign launched in February, encouraged people to call our Cancer Helpline to speak to our experienced cancer nurses. The campaign emphasised the benefits of talking; the depth of understanding offered by our Helpline staff; and the impact a call can have on all those affected by cancer. We saw an immediate increase in the number and duration of calls. Our prostate call-in in September 2003 generated 552 calls specifically about prostate cancer, and a total of 868 Helpline calls on the day. Urologists, medical and radiation oncologists, specialist nurses and prostate cancer survivors joined our team for the call-in. Staff in our multicultural cancer information service responded to 998 calls for cancer information and support in Chinese (561 calls), Arabic (386 calls), and Greek (51 calls).
Cancer Council Connect Men and women who have been diagnosed with breast, bowel or prostate cancer can benefit from one-to-one contact with specially trained volunteers who have shared their experience, and who can provide practical information and emotional support. In early 2004, we took over administration of the bowel cancer support network which was piloted by Nepean Hospital. In 2003/04, our Cancer Council Connect program took more than 2000 referrals for breast, prostate and bowel cancer. A review of the Cancer Council Connect program, completed in 2003, found that peer support is highly valued by clients, volunteers and health professionals. The review recommended that peer support be extended to cover all cancer types. Testicular cancer is the first cancer to be addressed with volunteers being trained from July 2004. Cancer Council Connect will partner with the Leukaemia Foundation in a pilot program to train peer support volunteers for blood cancers.
Family support and telegroup counselling program In 2003/04, we ran three telegroup counselling programs providing support to cancer patients and carers who were unable to participate in conventional support groups and peer support programs. Two programs were conducted for brain tumour patients and one for lung cancer patients. The Telstra Foundation committed $80,000 in funding towards helping families affected by cancer talk about the issues. The Communicating with Kids About Cancer project will be undertaken in partnership with the Pam McLean Cancer Communications Centre and will include a telegroup counselling component.
NSW CANCER COUNCIL 路 ANNUAL REPORT 2003/04
Cancer Council NSW Annual Report 2003-2004