When your child is diagnosed with cancer you embark on a journey that you probably never expected, nor could be prepared for. It can be overwhelming and confusing, and you will experience many different emotions along the way.
But never feel that you are alone. There is a lot of support, advice and information available to you to help you.
As well as your treating team, Australia has many consumer support, advocacy groups and cancer charities. These organisations may be able to help with:
- emotional support and practical help for you and your family.
- accommodation near treatment centres
- help with children's education while they're being treated
This page lists national consumer organisations and peak community-funded organisations, in alphabetical order.
It also lists some international organisations that provide evidence-based, high-quality cancer information.
- Brainchild Foundation supports children who are affected by brain and spinal cord tumours, and their families.
- Brain Tumour Alliance Australia helps patients with brain tumours and their families.
- Camp Quality delivers family support, hospital, education and recreation programs.
- Cancer Advisor is a one-stop website for the families of children, teenagers and young adults with cancer, and young people with a diagnosis.
- Cancer Australia's Consumer Involvement Toolkit helps people affected by cancer to be involved in local health services and community, cancer and research organisations.
- The Cancer Council in your state or territory provides general information about cancer information on resources and support groups in your local area.
- The Cancer Connect service provides online peer-based support and information for people living with, and affected by, cancer. You can call the Cancer Council Helpline from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call on 13 11 20.
- CanTeen helps young people (aged 12–24) cope with their own cancer, or cancer in their family. Also see Canteen's freely available online books and resources for young people who have cancer (suitable for ages 12–15 years).
- For young people with cancer, the Youth Cancer Service provides specialist, age-specific treatment and support.
- CanTeen Connect for Parents is a community designed to connect parents affected by cancer and provide support and resources to help with your family's cancer journey.
- Cancer Voices Australia supports and advocates for Australians affected by cancer.
- Children's Cancer Foundation aims to help children with cancer to access world-leading treatment and support. It also supports families throughout the treatment process.
- The Kids' Cancer Project is an independent national charity dedicated to supporting childhood cancer research. It aims to improve diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer, increase survival and improve outcomes for children and their families affected by cancer.
- Kids with Cancer Foundation Australia helps children with cancer and their families with finances.
- The Leukaemia Foundation has resources and support services for people with leukaemia and their families. Sometimes it can provide accommodation near major hospitals.
- Lymphoma Australia provides peer support and advocacy and can help people access clinical trials.
- Make-A-Wish Foundation grants wishes to children in Australia with life-threatening medical conditions.
- Melanoma Patients Australia is a patient-driven, non-profit organisation that offers a national network of support and information.
- MissingSchool.org.au is an online parent-run organisation that provides advice and parent support on education issues for your child.
- Neuroblastoma Australia supports and helps families of children with neuroblastoma and organises fundraising activities for neuroblastoma research.
- Redkite provides financial assistance, emotional support and educational assistance to children with cancer and their families. It also has scholarships available for specific educational goals.
- Ronald McDonald House Charities provides programs including educational support and accommodation near treatment centres.
- Rare Cancers Australia supports patients with rare and less common cancers, including several children's cancers.
- The Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association has more information about sarcoma and where to find a sarcoma specialist.
- Starlight Children's Foundation provides a range of programs to ensure the wellbeing of seriously ill children.
- The Bereavement Care Centre has counselling and support services for terminally ill children and their families and recently bereaved people.
Some international organisations provide consumer information about children's cancers:
- The National Cancer Institute (United States) has detailed information about a range of childhood cancers and their treatment. It also has resources on clinical trials, supportive care and coping with cancer.
- The American Cancer Society has resources on a wide range of cancers.
- St Jude Children's Research Hospital (United States) has information for patients, parents and survivors.
- The American Brain Tumor Association has information about brain tumour diagnosis, treatment and care.
- Cancer Research UK has information about different types of childhood cancers.
- The Children's Oncology Group runs clinical trials around the world. It has information for families about medical issues, coping with cancer and research.
Remember, things like treatment options might be different in other countries.