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Online program aims to bridge gap in cancer support

With some people who are being treated for cancer turning to the web for psychological support, Australian researchers have launched an online program that offers information, suggestions and self-help resources.

The Finding My Way website has been developed by Dr Lisa Beatty, Cancer Council SA postdoctoral fellow at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, and was launched at a public lecture at Flinders University on Tuesday 21 February 2017.

Beatty said there is great demand for psychological support for people with cancer but added it isn’t easy for everyone to access these services, due to a shortage of options and some hesitant to give psycho-social services a go.

“The internet has become a universal source of information around the world and some people with cancer have a strong preference to try to manage on their own terms,” Beatty said.

“For all forms of cancer, there are a lot of people struggling to cope with things like dealing with the emotional stress of diagnosis and treatment, common symptoms and side effects, dealing with the medical system, and even how to support loved ones.”

The new portal, supported by the Flinders Foundation, aims to bridge a gap in psycho-social cancer services in Australia by offering comprehensive self-help resources for all cancer types.

Work on the resource commenced 12 years ago and concluded with 4 years of multi-site National Health and Medical Research Council-funded trials around Australia. The team is now exploring the potential development of an alternative web resource model for people with advanced breast cancer.

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