Breast Cancer Counselling
After a diagnosis of Breast Cancer often there are many questions that need to be asked and addressed.
These questions may be grouped in the following categories:
Cancer Staging and Further Diagnostic Investigations
While you may have already had a
- Breast Ultrasound, and/or
- Contrast-Enhanced Mammography
in many situations, more information is required. So during your initial consultation, any further tests will be discussed. These tests may involve surgery and can include:
- Breast Imaging - CT scan, MRI
- Breast Biopsy
- Pathology- Blood tests
- Bone Density Test - Bone Scan, Bone Mineral Density
The results of these tests will assist in planning the appropriate management for your breast cancer.
Counselling can assist you at any stage of your journey, from diagnosis through to living with or having survived cancer.
Living with a cancer diagnosis is rarely easy. Feelings of stress, anxiety, being overwhelmed or just not like your usual self. Sometimes talking things through with your loved ones isn’t enough.
We provide informal and formal psychological support services (Cancer Counselling) for patients before, during and after their breast cancer treatment.
What Support Services Are Available?
Because we realise that people's support needs vary, we have different models of care are provided.
Breast Care Nurses
Our nurse counsellors provide guided self-help, in the form of a telephone sessions, face to face meetings either while in hospital, or can be arranged on an outpatient basis. They offer guidance and tips on:
- Coping with the effects of cancer,
- Adjusting to life with or after cancer,
- Making decisions related to treatment and
- Addressing treatment concerns.
- Practical issues
Where guided self-help does not address your concerns, we can arrange a clinical psychologist.
Those experiencing high levels of distress can seek direct access to a Breast Cancer Psychologist.
This can involve more intensive support in the form of therapy which involves a number of one-on-one counselling sessions.
A GP Mental health plan is necessary to ensure these services attract a medicare rebate.
Group Programs and Workshops
Face -to-face group programmes are available through our different private and public hospital networks. These programs will enable you to learn new skills in assisting you to cope with cancer and its related challenges. Some patients find the group programmes particularly helpful, by being able to meet with and support other people who are in the same situation as themselves.
Workshops, focusing on specific coping skills, such as relaxation and mindfulness, are usually delivered face-to-face in locations around the state.
You breast care nurse or specialist will be able to provide information on these programmes.
What Topics Are Covered By Breast Cancer Counselling?
Counselling can assist with a range of cancer concerns including:
- Adjusting to life with cancer
- Stress and difficulty coping
- Sleep difficulties
- Family or relationship problems
- Treatment side-effects
- Sexual problems
- Uncertainty about the future
- Fear of recurrence
- Therapy-related to end of life