$2 million in federal funding to help grow holistic support program for women with ovarian cancer
The $2M Federal funding pledged by the government means more women with ovarian cancer will now have access to their own Ovarian Cancer Nurse consultant providing essential support, says Ovarian Cancer Australia (OCA).
The funding will go towards OCA’s Teal Support Program, which enlists trained oncology and gynecological nurses to provide advice and support through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. The aim of the program is to ensure continuity of care, greater access to support and improved quality of life for all women with ovarian cancer.
CEO of OCA, Jane Hill, says the Teal Support Program has been crucial for so many women with ovarian cancer.
“For some women, the mental impacts of ovarian cancer can be just as challenging as the physical symptoms. The Teal Support Program provides a truly holistic approach to treatment including emotional support for women and their loved ones, advice on symptom management, guidance through aspects of treatment and crisis support. Through our team of specialist Ovarian Cancer nurses, we’re able to support even the most vulnerable women with ovarian cancer,” Hill said.
The Teal Support Program was launched in 2019 with a $1.6M pledge from the government and has since supported over 400 women and their families throughout their ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment. The funding of $2M over the next two years means the program will be able to reach a further 800 women. Of the women who have accessed the program, 26% are from regional or remote areas.
“The funding from the government will ensure we can maintain momentum and build the scale of this essential program. Not only will this improve the lives of many women with ovarian cancer and their families, it will also help to ease the pressure on the healthcare system by providing accessible and immediate support for women in need."
“This is of particular importance for women living in regional or remote areas who may not have access to the resources and information that is available to some women in the city. It’s fantastic to see that over a quarter of women accessing the program are from these areas,” Hill said.
Amy Phillips, who was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 2020, spoke passionately about her experience at OCA’s annual Parliamentary Breakfast. Among the company of both Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Leader of the Australian Labor Party Anthony Albanese, Amy described the Teal Support Program as a “godsend”.
“It was during my first stint of chemotherapy that I discovered the Teal Support Program and my fabulous Teal Support Nurse, Di Kenneally. As a specialist ovarian cancer nurse, Di knows exactly what I need to hear. She regularly checks in on me and I know she’s only ever a phone call away if I need her.
“Ovarian cancer and chemotherapy throw so many unique challenges at you that can be difficult to deal with alone. For Di, there’s no subject that’s too taboo. She has helped me through periods of intense physical and mental symptoms and has even had that tough conversation with me about what the end looks like with ovarian cancer, essentially, how does one die of ovarian cancer? These are not conversations you can have with just anyone,” said Phillips.
Australians can show their support for those impacted by the disease this Ovarian Cancer Australia Giving Day on Wednesday 23 February, where any donations will be matched by our generous donors and partners which will help to increase impact.
To find out more information or to donate, head to ovariancancer.net.au.
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