Barwon Health's specialists are experts in their fields and will help ensure you receive the right care to suit your needs.
Cancer Nurse Care Coordinators
Information and support can help you to feel more in control. Along with other members of your treating team, there are a number of cancer nurse coordinators that can:
- Provide information to help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options
- Help you access appropriate resources
- Support you when making difficult decisions
- Provide a vital link between your specialists, general practitioner (GP) and other services you choose to access.
Our nurse coordinators can help you at any or all stages of your journey from initial presentation through to survivorship advice.
We have cancer nurse care coordinators that specialise in specific types of cancers and will provide you with a point of contact and expert information no matter what stage of diagnosis or treatment you are at:
Colorectal, Upper GI - Justin Ludowyk ph. (03) 4215 2764
Lung and Brain Cancers - Dallas Byron ph. (03) 4215 3846
Haematology - Anita Edwards ph. (03) 4215 3848
Prostate - Rebecca Flanagan/Christine Redpath ph. (03) 4215 2772
Breast - Susan Bowles & Michelle Edwardsph. (03) 4215 2627
Transplant and Apheresis - Jenny Hempton ph. (03) 4215 2715
Melanoma, Head and Neck, Survivorship Nurse Consultant - Donna Lever ph. (03) 4215 2788
All malignant Disease/Palliative Care - Sue Berry ph. (03) 4215 3422
For all general enquiries, please contact Justin Ludowyk on ph. (03) 4215 5674
McGrath Breast Care Nurses – ph. (03) 4215 2627
Our McGrath Breast Care Nurses, Susan Bowles and Michelle Edwards, are health professionals specially trained to manage the care of breast cancer patients throughout the course of their treatment. They are the principal liaison between the patient and the specialists who coordinate their treatment - whether it be surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses also play an important advocacy role as well as helping to clarify technical or complicated information that you may have difficulty understanding.
Most importantly, McGrath Breast Care Nurses offer vital emotional support as well as being a friend for the patient and their families during what can be extremely difficult times.
From diagnosis to completion of treatment having the same person available to patients and their carers to provide care, support, education, answer questions, refer on to other specialities as needed, and contactable as concerns and issues arise is reassuring along each person's breast cancer experience.
For more information on the McGrath Foundation visit: www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au
Nutrition & Dietetics - ph. (03) 4215 0700
Dietitians perform individualised assessment of nutritional needs before, during and after cancer treatments. Dietitians also provide advice to help manage nutrition related problems that occur as a result of cancer or cancer treatments.
Referral to a dietitian is recommended for anyone who has experienced unplanned weight loss or is at risk of unplanned weight loss due to cancer treatment or the cancer itself
In some cases your specialist may recommend the placement of a feeding tube (PEG tube or nasogastric tube) to maintain your nutrition during and following radiotherapy. Dietitians provide advice and strategies on managing nutrition via a feeding tube.
For more information on Barwon Health's Nutrition and Dietetics Department, click here.
Cachexia Clinic - ph. (03) 4215 5700
Cachexia (pronounced ka kex ia) is an unusual word; used often in medical circles, but rarely heard in everyday life. The word ‘cachexia’ comes from the Greek words kakoz and hexis, and means ‘poor condition’.
Cachexia is a syndrome characterised by weight loss, loss of appetite and reduced muscle mass. It can happen as part of many chronic diseases, including cancer.
The aim of the Cachexia Clinic at Barwon Health is to support patients and their carers as they face the challenges associated with cachexia, poor food intake and fatigue. Our team understands that cachexia can cause distress to patients and carers.
At each session of the clinic you will see a:
- Palliative Care Doctor and Senior Specialist Nurse – who will discuss any new symptoms, pain, review medications you may be taking and any other issues and provide strategies to manage them.
- Physiotherapist – who will work with you to maximise muscle strength, mobility, and keep you as strong as possible.
- Dietitian – who will help you optimise your nutritional intake to help you stay strong, minimise weight and muscle loss and manage any food-related symptoms
The Cachexia Clinic is held every Tuesday in the Supportive Care Centre at Andrew Love.
You will need a referral from your general practitioner, oncologist, or other specialist. Although referral to the Cachexia clinic can occur at any time, we recommend that referral occurs as early as possible. This allows time for our dietitians and physiotherapists to focus on building your strength and stabilising your weight so that your cancer treatment is better tolerated.
After we receive the referral you will receive further information and an appointment time. You will also receive a confirmation phone call the day prior to your appointment. Please call us if you have other queries.
Phone: (03) 4215 5700 Fax: (03) 4215 6390
Speech Pathology - ph. (03) 4215 0847
Our speech pathologists provide advice and strategies for speech and swallowing difficulties mainly associated with surgical, radiotherapy or chemotherapy treatment of head and neck cancers
Lymphoedema Clinic - ph. (03) 4215 2790
The lymphoedema team comprises of a doctor, registered nurse and physiotherapists. This team provides assessment, advice, education, support and clinical services to patients who have, or are at risk of lymphoedema. They also provide prescriptions for compression garments.
To access the services of the lymphoedema clinic, you are required to have a referral from a general practitioner, specialist or allied health professional.
Occupational therapy promotes health and wellbeing through engagement in valued occupations or everyday activities. Occupational therapists aim to optimise occupational performance and assist in symptom management, through assessment of and intervention for physical, cognitive, psychosocial and functional changes and/or consequences of cancer and its intervention.
For more information about occupational therapy, click here.
Palliative Care - ph. (03) 4215 5700
Palliative care provides support and symptom management for people with a cancer diagnosis, and can be accessed at any time during the course of an illness. The aim is to help you live as well as possible, and increase your quality of life. You can be reviewed by a member of the consulting team whilst receiving radiotherapy or chemotherapy to assist in symptom control. Ongoing support can also be provided to you at home.
When to access Palliative Care Services?
Palliative care can be accessed early in the course of an illness, together with other therapies intended to prolong life, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and includes tests/investigations needed to better understand and manage distressing symptoms. Regardless of your level of need, the palliative care team is available to provide advice and support to you and other professionals involved in your care. Your general practitioner (GP) is an integral part of this team.
How to access our services
The palliative care service is accessed by means of a referral. A referral can be made by hospital staff, your GP or other specialist with your consent. Your family/carer can also refer or you can self-refer.
For more information, click here.
Prostate Care Nurse - ph (03) 4215 2772
A Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse is an experienced registered nurse who has received additional training to make them an expert nurse in prostate cancer care. Our Prostate Care Nurse Christelle is there to support you, your family or your carers when a diagnosis of prostate cancer has been made. You or your family can either contact Christelle directly or ask one of your treating team to refer you to the service. You can contact the service at any point in your cancer journey and you do not need a medical referral.
For more information on prostate care nurses please visit: www.prostate.org.au
A psychologist can help you manage symptoms of stress, anxiety, panic, depression or needle phobia. A psychologist is available one day a week at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.
Please ask a doctor or health clinician at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre for further details on how to access the psychologist.
Oncology Social Work - ph. (03) 4215 0777
Social workers can support you and your family in many ways, including counselling to assist with the impact of cancer and treatment on your life. You may wish to explore your feelings such as fear, anxiety and loss, or concerns like finances, work and changes in relationships.
Our social work team can also provide information and assistance with:
- Accommodation and claiming expenses related to treatment
- Financial assistance such as information on Centrelink and other government schemes
- Legal issues e.g. Guardianship, Medical and Enduring Power of Attorney
- Help when leaving the hospital
- Links to various community supports such as support groups, district nursing, home help and palliative care.
- Navigating the healthcare system
- Talking about your feelings and the challenges you may face managing your health care
- Preparation for conversations with your family or friends about your diagnosis, and ways to cope with the reactions you may receive
- Acting as a liaison between you and your family and the medical team, helping you understand the treatment options
- Relationship and intimacy issues
- Assistance with the adjustment to life after treatment
Referrals or making an appointment
Please contact the Social Work Department at University Hospital Geelong to arrange to meet with a social worker; or ask your doctor or nurse for a referral. We are available to see you both as an inpatient or outpatient. We can also provide counselling and support over the phone. This is a free service.
Ph. (03) 4215 0777
Pastoral & Spiritual Care - ph. (03) 4215 0627
Pastoral and Spiritual Care provides a safe place to explore your thoughts and feelings. It can help you to make sense of the story of your life, how having cancer may affect your sense of identity and belonging, and how you might find meaning and hope. Pastoral and Spiritual Care Staff respect and affirm the diversity in values and religious beliefs in our community.
Survivorship Service - ph. (03) 4215 2788
The Barwon Health Survivorship Service aims to assist people to recover and regain health and wellbeing after treatment.
The Survivorship Service includes:
- A meeting with the cancer nurse specialist at the completion of treatment to discuss recovery and rehabilitation
- Development of an individualised treatment summary and survivorship care plan to assist recovery and to achieve the best possible long term health
- Assessment and referral to allied health, rehabilitation and community services to assist recovery
- Building communication between general practice and the cancer centre to provide the best possible care
Be Smokefree - ph 1300 715 673
The Be Smokefree Clinics at Barwon Health provide individual support over a number of weeks.
This approach can be very helpful because:
- It helps you to understand why you smoke and why you want to quit
- It helps you to develop strategies for quitting or cutting back
- It provides you with regular support to manage through the quitting process
- It provides non-judgmental encouragement – even when you slip up
Our staff will also liaise with your general practitioner and other health professionals to make sure we consider your overall health concerns.