Support services

Your radiation therapy team works closely with support services to care for all your needs. Some of these services are listed below along with how they can help and support you throughout your treatment.

Please let us know if you feel any of the services below would benefit you.

Cancer Society

The Cancer Society support people with cancer, their family/ whānau and friends.
A wide range of support services are available.

Services commonly used during radiation therapy include, but are not limited to:

  • Transport services including volunteer drivers
  • Accommodation
  • Cancer information(external link) 
  • Support groups
  • Emotional support and counselling
  • Telephone support helpline 0800 CANCER (226 237)
  •  Living well programmes
  • Organising home help
  • Therapeutic massage

For more information visit the Cancer Society website:
http://www.cancernz.org.nz/(external link)

Chaplains

Offer spiritual support regardless of religious or cultural backgrounds.
More information on chaplains(external link)

Clinical nurse specialists

Support patients and their family/whanau throughout the whole cancer journey. They are available to offer advice, information, symptom management and act as you link person for any concerns you may have.

Interpreters

Interpreters can be booked if you are unable to communicate using the English language.

Oncology dietitian

Cancer, and the treatment of, can affect your ability to maintain weight. Dietitians are available to help manage your diet and appetite.

Palliative care

Palliative care is an approach to caring for people with cancer and their family that focuses on improving their quality of life; it is not just about care at the end of life.
The Palliative Care team at Waikato Hospital and Hospice Waikato(external link) work closely together to provide a variety of specialised care services.
Palliative care is commonly used during:

  • Times when your illness is causing discomfort; for example pain, shortness of breath or nausea.
  • Periods when your thoughts or feelings are distressing.
  • Occasions when your illness may be having a big impact elsewhere in your life – maybe with your partner, children, family/ whānau, work or perhaps your financial affairs.

Physiotherapists and occupational therapists

Some people experience changes in their physical functioning and ability to carry out day-to-day activities. 
Physiotherapists and occupational therapists can help with expert advice and exercises to help you regain your mobility, or assist with specialised aids to help you better manage.

Smoking cessation

Staff at Waikato hospital support people wanting to quit smoking.
Our smoking cessation programme includes free nicotine replacement therapy.
If you are interesting in quitting smoking, talk to our staff or call Quitline.
More information and contacts

Social workers

Social workers are available to provide a variety of supportive services to you and your family. They provide counselling to help cope with the diagnosis of cancer and subsequent treatment. They can arrange financial support and can put you in contact with other community services. Social workers also help people navigate the health care system and find support to manage day-to-day challenges of living with cancer.

Speech language therapists

Some cancers and treatments can affect your ability to communicate and swallow. 
Speech language therapists are available to help patients facing these difficulties.

Te Puna Oranga (Maori Health Service)

Our Kaitiaki service offers cultural support for Māori and their whānau in hospital.
They can also link patients and whānau to external support services.
Click to read their publication He Hikoi Hei Manaaki Tangata. A journey with cancer: a guide for Maori whanau [PDF, 1 MB]
More information on kaitiaki(external link)