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Cancer Care - Coming of Age Symposium

Cancer Care - Coming of Age Symposium

Considerations for older people during and beyond cancer

Older people are the largest group affected by cancer. They are a diverse and growing group. Their appropriate care, during and beyond cancer, is an emerging field in cancer worldwide. 

Powerful consumer stories from Roger, Marlene and John introduced the Cancer Care-Coming of Age symposium at RACV Goldfields on 24 November 2017. We heard about resilience, quality of life and the value of health professionals and the care they provide for these generous and wonderful consumers.

Quality of life is the only game in town, Ageing is not all bad, Carers are National Treasures, Little things matter, Adequate assessment yields appropriate care and The impact of cancer often doesn't end when treatment ends were strong themes from the keynote speakers Dr Christopher Steer, Associate Professor Peter Hunter and Dr Haryana Dhillon

Over sixty participants from the Barwon South West and Grampians regions also heard about specific care for older people with cancer and some new regional projects using telehealth and community services to improve recovery after cancer treatment ends. Representation by and resources from Cancer Council Victoria, Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre, Carers Support, Ballarat Community Health and the Victorian Patient Travel Assistance Scheme also provided direct information for participants.

The symposium is part of a Victorian Cancer Survivorship Program Capacity building grant project.

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If you would like to understand more about either cancer later in life or the experience of people affected by certain types of cancer you can view the A Common Path suite of videos.

Facing cancer later in life is a short video that provides an opportunity to hear from other people who have been diagnosed with cancer later in life speaking about strategies they found useful understand more about older people's experience of cancer. John, who offered his consumer story last week, is one of the four people featured in the video.

A Common Path is a series of short videos offering support and advice for those affected by cancer from others who have travelled 'a common path'. The videos, which many are tumour stream related, have been produced by Northern Eastern Metropolitan Integrated Cancer Service


Speakers included: 
  • Dr Christopher Steer, Medical Oncologist, Border Medical Oncology, Past Chair COSA Geriatric Oncology Interest Group
  • A/Prof Peter Hunter, Chair Victorian Care of Older People Clinical Network
  • A/Prof Haryana Dhillon, Senior Research Fellow, Chair COSA Survivorship Model of Care Working Group

Current practice examples:
  • Royal Adelaide Hospital: Involving patients in their own care - Rebecca Drake and Wendy McGahey
  • Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre: What do we do? - Amanda Piper 

Demonstration Projects:
  • Cancer Council Victoria: Telehealth Survivorship project - Jane Auchettl
  • Community Rehabilitation Centre, Castlemaine Health: Supporting self management - Julie Symons

For further information, contact:
Lea Marshall
Cancer Service Improvement Coordinator
P: (03) 5320 4044
E: lea5a3514c992aa8marshall5a3514c992a71bhs5a3514c992aa8org5a3514c992aa8au