Patient Care

Patient & Carer Handbooks

There is no work more important, more challenging or more meaningful than caring for a loved one who is ill.

Carers are often forced to become experts and their role can be overwhelming and stressful.

Carers Victoria offers counselling for people caring for someone with an illness. To learn more, click here.

Pancare is working on producing a series of guides (in printed and electronic format) for patients and carers as they undergo their cancer journey.

To download the Pancreatic Cancer Patient Handbook click here.

Alternative Therapies

Complimentary and Alternative Therapies

Complimentary and Alternative Medicine refers to therapies that extend outside of the normal practices of conventional medicine used by either a medical doctor or a doctor of osteopathy.

Complimentary medicine is used together with conventional medicine while alternative medicine is used in place of conventional medicine. Integrative medicine combines the use of CAM practices that have shown significant effectiveness and safety with traditional medicine.

You can read more about these options here.

Second Opinions

Seeking a second opinion

You can seek a second, third and fourth opinion until you are satisfied and comfortable with the doctor you have chosen. Most doctors will encourage you to seek more than one opinion as they may confirm or suggest modifications to the proposed treatment plan.

It is sometimes difficult and uncomfortable to suggest to your doctor that you would like to seek a second opinion. It is best to be open and honest, suggest that you are satisfied with their decision and you would like to be as thoroughly informed as possible. It is also best to keep your doctor informed during this process as they can make your medical records, test results and x-rays available to the specialist who is giving the second opinion.

It can become confusing and overwhelming when speaking to a number of doctors. It helps to write down a list of questions you wish to ask your doctor. Consider the following questions;

  • Do you typically treat patients with my type of cancers?
  • What are the outcomes or complications you have faced with my type of cancer?
  • Is there anything unique about my cancer that makes my prognosis better or worse?
  • What are all my treatment options?
  • How long will I need to receive treatment and how often?
  • How will I know if my treatment is working?
  • What are the side effects of my treatment?
  • Are there any alternative treatment options?
  • How can I prepare for the side effects of my treatment or prevent them?
  • How will treatment affect my daily activities?
  • Will I need to stop working?
  • Are there any clinical trials that are right for me?
  • What other health services would benefit me (for example; dietician, social worker, physiotherapist) and how can I be proactive with my treatment?