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Living with cancer

Resources with emotional and practical information

Living with cancer

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be difficult to cope with. Many people experience feelings of shock, fear and confusion.

Sharing a cancer diagnosis is also not easy. You may worry about how cancer will change your way of life and how it will impact family and friends.

Cancer Council can help you and your family cope with cancer. Call us on 13 11 20 – our specially trained staff can answer your questions and offer emotional and practical support.

Cancer Council also has a range of publications written for people diagnosed with cancer, as well as family and friends. These booklets and fact sheets provide practical information to help you and your family understand what you are going through.

Cancer support

Cancer support groups PDF
A guide to setting up and maintaining a support group.

Emotions and cancer PDF
Practical tips on how to talk to others about your diagnosis, treatment and how you are feeling.

Nutrition and cancer PDF
Practical information and tips to help you with your nutrition and dietary requirements both during and after cancer treatment.

Caring for someone with cancer PDF
Support for people who are looking after someone with cancer so that they can manage their emotional and physical needs, as well as those of the person being cared for.

Exercise for people living with cancer PDF
Information on the benefits exercise can bring during and after cancer treatment. Includes tips on exercise preparation and examples of exercise techniques.

Overcoming cancer pain PDF
While you will still need to talk to your medical team, this booklet provides useful information to help you understand pain and manage it with different treatments.

Fertility and cancer PDF
Answers many common questions about fertility, including preserving your fertility before cancer treatment, protecting it during treatment and options after treatment.

Sexuality, intimacy and cancer PDF
Helps you understand and deal with the ways cancer and its treatment may affect your sexuality.

Cancer in the school community PDF
A guide for school staff who would like to support students, families and colleagues affected by cancer.

Talking to kids about cancer  PDF
For anyone who needs to explain a diagnosis of cancer to children and teenagers.

Living with advanced cancer PDF
Information for people diagnosed with advanced cancer including available treatments, managing symptoms and getting your affairs in order. The booklet also contains information on support available for patients, carers and family.

Cancer treatment and side effects

Changes in thinking and memory PDF

Helps you understand changes that some people experience and suggests ways you manage day-to-day tasks and improve your thinking and memory.

Understanding chemotherapy PDF
A guide to help you understand one of the main drug treatments for cancer.

Understanding radiation therapy PDF
Information on radiation therapy (radiotherapy) treatments.

Understanding surgery PDF 
Helps you understand more about surgery commonly used to treat cancer.

Understanding immunotherapy PDF
An overview of immunotherapy which is a drug treatment that uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer.

Understanding complementary therapies PDF
An overview of the role of complementary therapies used in combination with conventional cancer treatment.

Understanding clinical trials and research PDF
Helps you understand and make informed decisions about participating in cancer research.

Massage and cancer PDF
Explains how massage, a commonly used complementary therapy, can provide relief from some cancer symptoms.

Mouth health and cancer treatment PDF
A fact sheet with information on the side effects of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery or a combination of treatments that affect the mouth area.

Understanding palliative care PDF
Palliative care aims to enhance quality of life and independence. This booklet has been developed to help you better understand palliative care for people affected by advanced cancer.

Hair loss PDF
A fact sheet with information on hair loss that may result from cancer treatment.

Understanding taste and smell changes PDF
A fact sheet to help you understand the possible effects of cancer treatment on your experience of eating.

Fatigue and cancer PDF
Fatigue is a very common side effect of cancer. This fact sheet has been developed to help you and your family understand what fatigue is and how it can be managed.

Peripheral neuropathy PDF
A fact sheet with information about the nerve condition known as peripheral neuropathy which can occur with cancer or cancer treatment.

Cancer and work

Cancer, work and you PDF 
A practical resource for employees and self-employed people with cancer, and working carers.

Cancer care and your rights PDF
Outlines what you can reasonably expect from your treatment team and the health care system. Includes basic information about insurance and workplace rights.

Cancer and your finances PDF
Advice on how to manage your finances after a cancer diagnosis.

Exercise for people living with cancer 

A suite of 22 videos complement the booklet, Exercise for people living with cancer. They provide clear instructions on how to perform the exercises referred to in the booklet. These are simple exercises to help improve your flexibility and strength.

The videos were developed by Cancer Council NSW and have been reproduced with permission. 

Booklet and image of video of exercise for people living with cancer.

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