Why getting the right support matters

Coming to terms with a pancreatic cancer diagnosis and making decisions on surgery, treatment options and managing symptoms all while processing the emotional impact can be overwhelming for many patients and their families. Discover how our Living with Pancreatic Cancer Support Day pilot helped give patients confidence.

Delivering on our five-year strategic plan to provide access to wellbeing services for patients and their families, Pancare recently completed a pilot series of patient support days to support people affected by pancreatic cancer from point of diagnosis through to recovery from treatments.

Developed in conjunction with pancreatic cancer nurses, dietitians and counsellors, the pilot series delivered in Melbourne and Traralgon, equipped participants with a deeper knowledge on what to expect during treatment, how to manage pain and other side effects and how to effectively communicate with health care providers. Dedicated health professionals working in oncology also presented information on nutrition, exercise and emotional wellbeing specifically relating to living with pancreatic cancer. Each participant also received a take-home workbook of topics presented during the day and additional resources.

Pancare’s Patient Services Coordinator, Sonia Mursec, said it is vital that patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer have access to specific information about living with the disease.

“By its nature, pancreatic cancer is difficult disease to diagnose, treat and manage. Treatment can cause multiple physical problems as well as numerous psychosocial consequences such as the shock of facing a terminal or poor prognosis.

“We want to ensure patients and their families are equipped with the right information to make informed choices on how they can be in control of their journey living with the disease. It’s also important that patients can be connected with others in a similar situation and learn from their experiences.”

Survey results from trial participants reported a high level of satisfaction from the topics delivered in the program, with over 95% of participants reporting the day as being very good or excellent. Specifically, participants rated pancreatic cancer modules on symptom management, diet, nutrition and exercise highly. Survey results will be further analysed to make improvements on modules discussed during the day.

Pancare would like to acknowledge and thank the generous support of Gandel Philanthropy, Cook Medical, ASX Thomson Reuters and The William Angliss (Victoria) Charitable Fund whose financial contribution enabled us to run the pilot series in Victoria.

Thanks to funding from Dry July, the Living with Pancreatic Cancer Support Day will continue to be delivered again in metropolitan and regional Victoria in addition to being expanded to South Australia.

To register your interest in attending our Living with Pancreatic Cancer Patient Support Day please email support@pancare.org.au or call us on 1300 881 698.