Useful links for people affected by cancer

Supportive Care

Supportive care refers to services required by those affected or impacted by cancer. It includes among other things information provision, symptom control, self-help and social support, psychological and spiritual support, rehabilitation, palliative care and bereavement care. Supportive care activities in cancer can be broadly defined by the following five categories:

• Physical needs;
• Psychological needs;
• Social needs;
• Information needs; and
• Spiritual needs.

Supportive care can be optimised through routine screening and follow-on referrals to appropriate treatment and care services. Members of the multidisciplinary team as well as family members, friends, support groups, volunteers and other community-based organisations can all play an important role in a cancer patients’ supportive care.

There are many support services available to access, such as:

Palliative Care

Palliative Care is a specialist form of care provided to people living with an advanced or life-threatening illness. It aims to:

  • Provide relief from pain and other distressing symptoms;

  • Affirm life and treat dying as a normal process;

  • Integrate the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients in a coordinated model of support and care; and

  • Assist families cope during the patients illness and their own bereavement.

Palliative Care is available to all patients with life-threatening illnesses and can be provided in a range of settings including the home, hospital and residential care.

For more information on Palliative Care please click on the following links:

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are an important way of testing the efficacy of new treatment options for cancer patients. Participation in a clinical trial is voluntary and open to anyone who meets the specified criteria outlined in the research protocol. Please note, some clinical trials can use exclusionary criteria such as age, gender, stage of disease or medical history when determining an applicants’ eligibility to participate in a clinical trial.

All clinical trials must be approved by a Victorian Human Research Ethics Committee before recruitment of volunteers can take place. The approvals process provides participants with assurances that:

  • Rights of cancer patients have been carefully considered in the research proposal;

  • Benefits and risks have been rigorously tested against best-practice standards.

For more information on available clinical trial activity within Victoria please click on the following links: