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Patient Support

A rare cancer is defined as a type of cancer that has less than 6 incidences per year per 100,000 population.

A less common cancer is defined as one that has between 6 and 12 incidences per year per 100,000 population. Examples are Brain Tumours, Thyroid Cancers, Liver Cancers, Pancreatic Cancers, Kidney Cancer, Testicular Cancer and many, many more. In fact most cancers, except Breast, Prostate, Bowel, Lung and Melanoma, can be classified as rare or less common.

There are literally hundreds of different types of rare and less common cancers and when combined they have a devastating impact on the community’s health and wellbeing. In a typical year over 42,000 Australians will be diagnosed with a rare or less common cancer and nearly 24,000 will die.

Australians diagnosed with a rare or less common cancer have typically been offered very little in the way of support after diagnosis. The RCA Patient Support Program provides patients with a centre of knowledge, guidance, advice and hope.

Phone Service

Patients and their families are encouraged to contact RCA direct by calling 02 4862 2768 or via email. Our engagement with patients is and continues to be of the highest quality. RCA can assist with practical, tangible and emotional support throughout the cancer treatment journey. This support base is invaluable and will help alleviate some of the stress associated with a rare cancer diagnosis.

Oncologists

RCA has established linkages with over 100 oncologists and major cancer centres in both capital and rural areas. RCA can assist patients to identify cancer physicians with specific interests in their particular type of rare cancer.

Over the past few years, RCA has also developed an expansive network and alliances with many organisations including:

  • Clinical Oncology Society of Australia
  • Medical Oncology Group of Australia
  • Private Cancer Physicians of Australia

Financial Advice

The emotional stress of a rare cancer diagnosis is often compounded by financial stress. Patients are burdened with trying to find money to help pay for non-government funded treatment. This is made more difficult as they take time off or stop working completely. 

RCA can help patients approach their financial institution, utility companies, insurance agencies, government departments and the like, to build a case for compassionate consideration. RCA deals with these matters on a case by case basis.

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The Patient Treatment Fund will help those Australians faced with high cost options, gain access to the medicines that will ultimately help save or extend their lives. More
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An extensive list offering information about many rare cancer types. More
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Clinical Trials are an essential part of the development of new treatments and help improve diagnosis, treatment and management of people living with cancer. More
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By providing a structured mechanism with which to communicate questions and to record answers, the CAN.recall App assists patients at this time of great need. More
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Some useful links to other supportive organisations. More
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Some useful resources supplied by other supportive organisations. More