Episode 1 - Call Someone

Cancer is tough and you need all the help you can get.  That’s why the Cancer Council has a number you can call to speak to nurses who know their stuff. Call 13 11 20.

You've had some of the worst news in the world...they're sure it's cancer.  What are you going to do now?  Maybe you know someone who had it, maybe all you know is the bad ending from a terrible movie.  Your doctor may have explained things very carefully but who can listen when you're feeling so overwhelmed?

If you have a friend or family member with a cancer diagnosis you need to keep calm for their sake but you probably have so many questions.

This is where the Australian Cancer Council can help. 13 11 20 is a free, confidential telephone information and support service run by Cancer Councils across Australia.

Anyone can call 13 11 20 specially trained staff are ready to answer your questions about cancer and offer emotional or practical support. 

There are no silly questions.  All you need to do is ask.

In this podcast you will meet two of the nurses who work on the phone lines.  Katherine Lane and Craig Morton

Episode 2 - Surgery

Surgery may be your first step in your cancer treatment.  What are the surgeons looking for when they’re operating on your cancer? 

Once you've discovered you've got cancer it's understandable you want it out.

For most of us surgery is the first step in the journey to recovery. It's a relief to think of the cancer as gone from your body.  But doctors are not always as quick to rush into surgery as they once were.  New treatments designed to shrink tumours and check their spread can make smaller less invasive operations an option.

So what are surgeons looking for when they decide to operate?  What does cancer look like?  Is cancer a big black alien lump?   How have cancer surgery techniques changed and improved?  What can you expect when you meet your cancer surgeon?

In this podcast you'll be meeting Miss Caroline Baker Head of Breast Surgery St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Mr David Deutscher - a Surgeon based in Ballarat, Victoria.

Episode 3 - Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy: just the word can fill you with dread.  But maybe, what you think you know about chemo isn't quite true any more.. 

Treatments have changed, drugs that can help with side effects have improved.  Thanks to clinical trials treatments have become more specific and some of the side effects reduced... although for a lot of us the hair loss is still pretty tough.

In this podcast you will meet Dr Craig Carden a Ballarat based Medical Oncologist who will talk you through what you might expect if you're about to undertake your first round of chemotherapy.  You'll also meet Oncology Nurses Elizabeth McEncroe and Heather McErvale form St John of God Ballarat Hospital.

Episode 4 - Radiation

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high energy particles or electro-magnetic energy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours.  What’s involved in this high tech cancer treatment and what can you expect?

Radiation Oncologists oversee your radiation treatment assisted by Radiation Therapists who take the measurements and make calculations to work out how the radiation will best target your cancer accurately and safely.

In this podcast you'll meet Dr Simone Reeves a specialist Radiation Oncologist and Campus Director at Ballarat Austin Radiation Oncology Centre (BAROC).  Joining her are Sharon Gibbs and Chris Hoyne, Radiation Therapists at (BAROC).

Episode 5 - Aboriginal Health

What extra help is available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities dealing with cancer?  There are some really great support services available provided through Indigenous health services.  These can help support you or a family member through cancer treatment and afterwards.

Hospitals and cancer treatment clinics can be difficult no matter what your background but specialist Indigenous health workers are available to support patients and their families through treatment.  Help is available in many different forms.

Emma Leehane, Aboriginal Support Worker at the Ballarat Base Hospital understands the complexities you might experience if you're from the Aboriginal community but has seen the difference her experience and community support can provide.  You'll also meet Anthony Harrison and Sandy Anderson, practice nurses at the Ballarat & District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC).