Our aim is ‘to enable people affected by cancer to live well’.
Key principles are:
- Prevention of symptoms and complications
- Symptom management
- Psychosocial care
- Promoting quality of life
- Self -empowerment and self -management
Partnership and participation
Eligibility criteria for acceptance into the Allied Health service is:
- Adults (aged 17 years and older) are accepted into our service.
- Younger adolescents will be managed on a case by case basis.
- Cancer diagnosis affecting the patient and their family and carers.
- People undergoing or about to undergo surgery, radiotherapy and systemic therapy with the intent to cure or control their cancer.
Referrals will be accepted from:
- Queensland Health medical, nursing and health professionals.
- Self-referral – meeting eligibility criteria.
To make a referral contact the Allied Health Regional Cancer Team or ask a member of your health care team, such as your doctor or nurse, for a referral.
Allied Health Team Members
Cancer Care Dietitian
Good nutrition plays an important role in our health and wellbeing and is vital to help maintain strength, fight infection, lessen fatigue, promote recovery and enhance treatment outcomes.
The Dietitian is a qualified health professional who has the expertise to provide evidence based, individualised dietary counselling and medical nutrition therapy. The Dietitian can help provide strategies to manage symptoms including weight loss, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting, changes to bowel habits and taste changes.
For any concerns with your diet or weight please discuss with your Nurse or the Cancer Care Coordinator who can organise a referral if required.
Cancer Care Social Worker
Social Workers are an important part of your health care team and can provide
Counselling can help with:
- Understanding and adjusting to illness
- Change in lifestyle and developing a plan for the future.
- Supporting communication with children or grandchildren.
- Maintaining relationships with partners, family/carers and friends
- Managing feelings of depression, anxiety, grief, loss and bereavement
The Social Work can link you with a wide range of services available in the community.
These may include home support services, childcare, housing and support groups. You may require increased supports to assist on your discharge from hospital. Referrals can be made to local services which meet your specific needs.
Legal and Financial support
Social Workers can provide you with information about financial and legal assistance including Centrelink, Cancer Council and Advanced Care planning.
Cancer Care Physiotherapist
Physiotherapy can assist patients with physical problems resulting from Cancer and/or side effects of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. This may include:
- Restoring normal range of motion in joints and normal strength in muscles to assist a patient to return to accomplishing day to day tasks
- Improving balance, unsteady gait and reduced mobility.
- Advice on walking aids to improve safety and prevent falls
- Exercise prescription to help the management of cancer related fatigue and tiredness
- Pain management
- Respiratory care - managing shortness of breath, breathing exercises, airway clearance techniques to clear secretions
- Genitourinary complications - for men and women undergoing treatment for prostate, bladder or ovarian cancer, incontinence and sexual dysfunction are common. A physiotherapist can help to rebuild the strength of the pelvic floor in order to improve urinary continence and reduce pain related to sexual function.
Lymphoedema (Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy)
Massage and exercise program to reduce scar tissue and adhesions helping restore movement and function. This therapy can also assist to treat cording caused by surgery – particularly breast surgery.
Lymphoedema can occur in all parts of the body:
- Upper limbs
- Lower limbs
- Head and neck
- Chest wall/trunk
We provide surveillance for at risk patients after:
- Lymph node clearance
- Cording caused by surgery – particularly breast surgery.
Our Occupational Therapist will help you manage at home. They can help arrange equipment if you need it, such as grab rails for the shower, and they can talk to you about managing your fatigue and other day to day difficulties.
Cancer Care Speech Pathologist
Speech Pathologists provide clinical services to patients with a diagnosis of cancer, including head and neck cancer and laryngectomy.
Physical problems resulting from cancer and/or side effects of treatment (surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy) that may necessitate Speech Pathology input, include:
- Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) which may be related to pain,
- Mouth ulcers/sores,
- Dry mouth,
- Jaw stiffness/ difficulty opening mouth.
- Communication difficulties (including changes to voice, speech and/or language)
The Speech Pathologist can provide pre-treatment counselling and ongoing reviews during/ post treatment.