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October 2018

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Penny Johnston and her son, Harry.

Podcast helps newly-diagnosed cancer patients

ABC broadcaster and Grampians Integrated Cancer Service consumer advisory group member Penny Johnston has produced a podcast to help people with a cancer diagnosis.

Funded by the GICS Health Issues Centre, the Cancer Survivor Guide is a series of five podcasts covering information the CAG thought people newly-diagnosed would need.

Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the three most common ways people are treated for cancer and each has a podcast dedicated to the subject.

There is also a podcast with information that is especially relevant for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities which might be dealing with cancer.

Another podcast is dedicated to the Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 helpline.

The podcasts contain interviews with medical specialists and take listeners gently through what might be involved in the common treatment paths.

The Grampians Integrated Cancer Service hopes the podcasts will be a helpful addition to the information patients are provided by their healthcare team.

‘Having cancer can be complicated,’ Ms Johnston said.

‘It involves processing a lot of information about treatments but also trying to deal with what you need to tell other people.

‘Your only experience of, say, chemotherapy might be the disastrous ending of a bad movie but, in reality, there are a lot of options to keep side-effects to a minimum.’

Recording the podcasts also gave Grampians medical specialists the opportunity to talk in depth about the jobs they love and how they can help patients and families dealing with cancer.

•       The podcasts can be found on the Cancer Survivor Guide website at, on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.