CANCER Council has urged carers of Queenslanders with cancer to reach out for help, with research showing higher levels of cancer-related distress in some carers than cancer patients or survivors.
Studies show the role of becoming a cancer carer can pose significant risks to mental and emotional health, with many carers reporting above-normal levels of psychological distress.
One in five Gold Coast calls to Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 so far this year (327 calls) have come from carers of Queenslanders diagnosed with cancer, seeking information, advice and support.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said carers faced a range of emotional challenges following the diagnosis of a friend or family member.
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“Carers can experience a lot of confusion, stress, anxiety and a range of mental health challenges when someone they are close to is diagnosed with cancer,” Ms Clift said.
“Often carers feel apprehensive about seeking support as they aren’t the ones diagnosed, but we want to remove that stigma and help family and friends to reach out for the help they need.
“Cancer Council Queensland offers support, information, referrals and resources to the carers of those diagnosed with cancer – or simply a listening ear if they need it.”
Calls to Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 from neighbours of Queenslanders affected by cancer are also increasing, with people helping to take the pressure off families with practical support.
“It’s heart-warming that we are receiving more calls from neighbours checking in on cancer survivors, assisting them practically by organising food and transport to appointments,” Ms Clift said.
“We also hear from neighbours of cancer patients who are located far from their family and have limited support.
“Cancer Council is here to support every family member, neighbour, friend and carer who works hard to help those diagnosed with cancer to achieve the best possible quality of life.
“All Queenslanders can get in touch with Cancer Council on 13 11 20, serviced by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, experienced in cancer care and support.
“Patients and their loved ones can also get referrals to our Cancer Counselling Service from their doctor or via 13 11 20.”
Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 is a toll-free landline call from anywhere in Queensland and offers information, resources and connection to support programs and advocacy services for those affected by cancer.