“Cancer survivor refers to a person who has been diagnosed with cancer, from the time of diagnosis throughout his or her life. The impact of cancer on family members, friends, and caregivers of survivors is also acknowledged as part of survivorship.” (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention)
GIPPSLAND CANCER SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAM
In the Gippsland Cancer Survivorship Program (GCSP), we will make sure you have ongoing support from a survivorship nurse, oncology specialist and your GP when you have completed your cancer treatment.
Cancer treatments including surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy can lead to short and long term side effects. You might experience ongoing physical or psychological problems such as pain, fatigue and depression which may lead to further health issues.
The GCSP will help support your recovery following treatment and help you adjust to life after a cancer diagnosis. It will also help to prevent any other problems that may be a result of your cancer therapy. You will be provided with information about how to look after yourself, strategies to help with any side effects of treatment and information about your follow-up care, and if required, referrals to other services.
GIPPSLAND CANCER SURVIVORSHIP PROGRAM OVERVIEW
Evidence suggests that care after cancer is just as important as when you are diagnosed & having treatment, to help you cope with life beyond your treatment. GCSP is a collaborative program promoting cancer survivorship care that is shared between you, your cancer specialists, and your GP to improve your health and wellbeing and provide well-coordinated support after cancer treatment.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GENERAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
A healthy diet is recommended to reduce the risk of certain cancers. Include plenty of vegetables and fruit; a high fibre, low fat and salt diet.
|Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Research shows that a waistline over 100cm for men and 85cm for women can significantly increase the risk of some cancers.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of certain cancers. It is recommended to limit or avoid drinking alcohol. For people who do drink alcohol, it is recommended to drink no more than two standard drinks a day, avoid binge drinking and have at least 1 or 2 alcohol free days each week.
|Be Physically Active
Exercise is important to reduce the risk of many cancers. Up to 1 hour of moderate activity daily or 30 minutes of vigorous activity is recommended.
|Be Sun Smart
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major cause of skin cancer. In Victoria UV levels generally reach 3 and above from September to April. UV levels of 3 and above can cause damage and increase your risk of skin cancer so a combination of sun protection steps are needed.
Smoking contains over 60 chemicals known to cause cancer.
|Find Cancer Early
Finding cancer early offers one of the best chances to cure the disease. The following link provides further information.
It is recommended that you receive an annual influenza vaccination. See your GP about getting the flu vaccination.
|Emotional Impact of Cancer
Fear of cancer coming back is common after finishing treatment. The following links provide information on ways to look after mental health and useful strategies you can implement.
One change that you may experience is the development of the symptoms of menopause. Follow the links below for more information.
During menopause the body stops producing hormones which can cause your bones to become thin and fragile. Ask your GP about having a bone scan and having your Vitamin D levels tested.
For further treatment information and resources please refer to EviQ – Cancer Treatments Online