Upon admission or arrival at Mater, please let us know if you are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin. This will help Mater staff to respond to your healthcare needs.
More information here
Mater patients can access an interpreter (a person with a qualification in one or more languages including AUSLAN) to explain a diagnosis and treatment in a preferred language.
More information here
Lymphoedema is a condition where an accumulation of excessive amounts of fluid in the tissue results in swelling of one or more regions of the body. Lymphoedema can arise as a result of some cancer treatments.
Lymphoedema therapists are available to assist with early detection, assessment and management of lymphoedema.
If you have any questions or concerns about lymphoedema, please speak with your treating doctor or medical team.
Dietary management during and post cancer treatment can assist patients to better tolerate treatment, optimise outcomes and improve quality of life during cancer treatment and survivorship. Nutrition and dietetics support services include:
- Advice on maintaining or improving food intake to prevent loss of weight and muscle
- Strategies to manage symptoms and possible side effects of treatment, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation
- Nutrition education on specialised diets
- Provision of nutrition supplementation if required
If you have any concerns, need further information or wish to be referred to see a dietitian, please speak with your treating doctor or cancer care coordinator.
During and after your cancer treatment, occupational therapists provide specialist interventions to address physical independence, lymphoedema, memory, fatigue, depression, sleep, and anxiety related to medical procedures. Occupational therapy support services include:
- prescription of assistive devices
- mindfulness and relaxation to assist with building resilience and maintaining optimal quality of life.
Patients who have completed their cancer treatment may be eligible to attend the eight-week mindfulness group program. This program is called Mind and Body Wellbeing through Cancer Treatment and Beyond group.
Please contact allied health administration on 3163 6000 to self-refer or for more details. Alternatively, you may request to speak with the oncology occupational therapist at your next appointment for more information.
During and after cancer treatment, physiotherapy can support you with specialist interventions to address pain, movement, strength and functional independence and fitness. Physiotherapy support services include:
- rehabilitation following surgery
- reconditioning due to cancer treatment side effects
- exercises to help address continence concerns
- lymphoedema management
- individual prescription of exercise during and after cancer treatment.
Individual and group programs
Patients undergoing cancer treatment may be eligible to access individual or group physiotherapy programs. Programs include:
- individual prescription of exercise during and after cancer treatment
- group exercise program (breast cancer)
- Group exercise program (all cancers)
Please contact allied health administration on 3163 6000 to self-refer or for more details. Alternatively, please speak with your treating doctor or medical team.
Psychology support services may help you with:
- coping with a cancer diagnosis
- anxiety and low mood
- grief and loss
- body image
- self-esteem issues
- managing change.
Living Well after Cancer Group
Women who have completed their treatment for breast and gynaecological cancer may be eligible to attend the Living Well after Cancer group. This support group is designed to assist breast and gynaecological cancer survivors with life after cancer treatment and fear of recurrence.
If you would like to access our psychology support services, please speak with your treating doctor or medical team.
Being diagnosed with cancer can turn your world upside down. While everyone will experience this differently, many people can experience a range of emotions which may also impact those around them. You don’t need to face things on your own, Social Workers can assist you and your family during your treatment.
Social Workers may;
- help you find the best way of coping with the impact of your illness and treatment
- assist you to navigate a range of services in the community (e.g. help at home, transport, support groups, etc.)
- provide counselling and emotional support (e.g. understanding and adjustment to cancer and treatment, planning for the future including Advance Care Planning, communicating with children about cancer, relationship and family issues, end of life and bereavement support)
- create a supportive environment for you to voice any concerns
- connect you with referrals for legal and financial assistance.
Please note, social workers are available Monday to Friday. Please speak with your treating doctor or medical team, if you would like more information about our social work support services.
It is common for people who are undergoing cancer treatments to experience difficulty swallowing. Speech pathologists are trained to provide specialist assessment, advice and treatment of swallowing disorders during or following treatment. Speech pathology support services include:
- assessment of eating and drinking
- prescription of exercises to assist with swallowing and maintenance of swallowing function during treatment
- prescription of texture modified diets and fluids to assist with safe eating and drinking
- education about safe swallowing strategies
- advice about oral hygiene and care during cancer treatment to assist with comfort when eating and drinking (e.g. for mouth ulcers, dry mouth, etc.).
Some cancers and treatments may result in changes to a person’s ability to communicate. Speech pathologists are able to provide specialised assessment and intervention for language disorders (e.g. difficulties finding the right word) or speech disorders (e.g. slurred speech) upon request.
Any adult patient who is experiencing these difficulties as a result of their cancer or treatment can be referred to a Mater speech pathologist via their specialist or general practitioner.