Practical support

Being diagnosed with head and neck cancer can cause extra stress in your life. Keeping organised and knowing where to find support can give you more time to concentrate on your treatment and recovery.

Keeping organised

When you are having treatment, you will have a lot to think about. You may find it helpful to write a list of everything you need to do before, during and after treatment.

Checklists are a good way to plan for the future. Share your checklists with your family and friends so they know how they can help you.

Employment

You may like to keep working during your treatment to help you feel as normal as possible. Speak with your doctor to see if it is safe for you to continue working.

Sometimes, you may be too unwell to work. It is important to speak with your employer about your cancer diagnosis, so they know about your situation and can help you with sick leave, reduced hours or job sharing. If you find it difficult to speaking with your employer, a social worker can help negotiate some of these changes with you and your employer.

It may also be helpful to know:

  • if you are entitled to paid or unpaid leave from your work

  • if your superannuation fund includes insurance or income protection to cover your lost income.

Child care

Finding care for your children during your cancer treatment can be difficult, especially if you need to travel for treatment. Asking for help to care for your children during this time is important. Family and friends can help by picking the children up from school and helping with family meals.

Some people may be eligible for child care services provided by Family and Community Services (FaCS). You can contact FaCS on 1300 653 227.

Travelling for treatment

You may need to travel a long distance to see your doctor and have treatment, especially if you live in a rural or remote area.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to get help with the cost of your travel or accommodation. Each state and territory has a different scheme available for people travelling from regional and remote areas for cancer treatment.

You can get more information about the scheme in your state from your doctor, Centrelink or the Department of Veteran Affairs
You may need to access the Medicare and  Department of Human Services websites during and after your cancer treatment