Finding support

Even though treatment is over, there are still many different sources of support.  Your GP can give you support and advice, and can also provide referrals to other health professionals, if needed. If you feel you would benefit from talking to a specialist or having some additional therapy, talk to your GP.

Some of the things that might help are listed below.

  • Share your feelings.  Talk to your partner, a family member or friend about how you are feeling.
  • Join a support group. Some people find it helpful to meet with other people in the same situation to share their experiences, concerns and fears; meetings can be face to face or held over the telephone or internet. Call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20 to be linked into cancer support groups in your area. Some states and territories offer support groups that chat on the phone or online.
  • Try complementary therapies. Think about taking up an activity to help you relax and improve your wellbeing; for example, relaxation can help to control pain, and muscle relaxation and imagery can help you manage anxiety.
  • Find a counsellor.  Counselling with a trained health professional can help you clarify your feelings and deal with issues that have been brought up by your diagnosis and treatment. The Cancer Council in your state or territory has extensive lists of social workers, psychologists and counsellors who are trained to provide support to people affected by cancer.
  • Talk to your doctor about anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication.  Medication can help get you through difficult times. You will usually only need to take medication for a short period of time. Taking medication does not mean that you are ‘weak’ or ‘crazy’, it just means that you need extra support at a difficult time. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and side effects of medications that might be helpful for you.

Living with Cancer has more information about finding support.