Accessing cancer support in regional and remote areas
Living in regional and remote areas of Australia may bring additional challenges relating to cancer diagnosis, treatment and support for upper gastrointestinal cancers. In fact, approximately 30% of the Australian population live over 180 km from a tertiary healthcare facility.
You may find that living in a regional or remote location means that you:
- Have reduced accessibility and distance from services
- Experience limited availability of specialists and allied health providers
- Experience limited access to support services (including accommodation, transport, emotional support and provision of practical and financial assistance)
- Experience less availability of diagnostic and treatment services including reduced availability of radiotherapy services and sub-optimal chemotherapy administration.
As upper gastrointestinal cancers are classed as rare cancers, it may mean that your GP and local hospital diagnose and treat very few cases each year and that local services may not be able to offer you the best outcomes. This means that you may need to travel to other treating hospitals or treatment centres for surgical intervention or treatment.
Government-assisted travel schemes
If you need treatment in a hospital far away from your home, you may be entitled to receive financial help with accommodation and travel. These travel schemes are run by state and territory governments so contact the relevant body in your state to learn more:
- ACT — Interstate Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (IPTAS)
- NSW — Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS)
- NT — Patient Assistance Travel Scheme (PATS)
- QLD — Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTSS)
- SA — Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (PTAS)
- TAS — Patient Travel Assistance Scheme (PTAS)
- VIC — Victorian Patient Transport Assistance Scheme (VPTAS)
- WA — Patient Assisted Travel Scheme (PATS)
Getting the support you need
Pancare’s PanSupport team offer a dedicated service via phone and video conferencing that can assist you in overcoming the challenges you may face as a regional or rural patient living with an upper gastrointestinal cancer.
We can help you to:
- Understand a recent diagnosis
- Understand treatment options
- Learn practical ways to manage symptoms
- Connect to supportive services
- Make informed choices about your cancer care.
Our range of services include:
- One-on-one telehealth support with our dedicated PanSupport team including specialist nursing support, practical support and counselling
- Assistance in accessing available services for travel and accommodation if you need to travel a long distance for your treatment
- Financial support for hardship
- Online patient support groups, connecting you virtually to others living with upper GI cancers for support and encouragement
- Latest information on available research and clinical trials, including advancements in teletrials
- Educational tools and resources on living with cancer
- Living Well Series – specialist information from experts on various aspects on living with cancer.