New Cancer Council SA data released on International Nurses Day reveals that South Australian women are four times more likely to call Cancer Council 13 11 20 than men.
The data, which analysed calls from the 2021 year, showed that more than 4,800 people called Cancer Council 13 11 20 for free cancer information and support. Of those people, only 1,100 were men.
With data showing that one in three men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, Cancer Council SA Information and Support Manager Amanda Robertson urged more men to reach out to Cancer Council’s Nurses when they need it.
“A cancer diagnosis can be an overwhelming experience, and often people don’t know where to turn.”
“Cancer Council 13 11 20 is staffed by experienced cancer nurses who can provide information and support across the entire cancer experience, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond,” she said.
“We can also connect callers with others who have been through a similar experience through our Cancer Connect Program. Talking to someone else who has been through cancer can help remove feelings of isolation and anxiety and is an incredibly valuable way for men to connect with each other.”
“We know that often men find it hard to reach out and ask for help, and our data definitely shows that fewer men are reaching out following a diagnosis or the diagnosis of a loved one.”
“This International Nurses Day, we want to remind South Australians, in particular men, that we are only a phone call away,” she said.
In 2019, South Australian mum of two Jess was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her husband Phil reached out to 13 11 20 to help him understand his wife’s diagnosis and support their young family.
“We found it really hard to accept help, and Jess’ diagnosis hit us really hard,” he said.
“I reached out to 13 11 20 for information and support and they connected me with a Cancer Council SA Counsellor. There was so much going on and I felt lost. Counselling really helped me with that, because I got to talk it out with someone who wasn’t Jess.”
Jess said that she was incredibly proud of Phil for reaching out for help.
“Phil took four months off work to be there for the kids as our main carer. He did everything, so I was really proud of him when he said he wanted to talk to someone,” she said.
“Through it all, it was so nice to know that support was there if and when we needed it. The Cancer Council Nurses really helped our family get through,” she said.
Cancer Council 13 11 20 is a free information and support service for anyone impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
Cancer nurses can help answer questions and also direct callers to a range of other services and supports, including accommodation, counselling, financial assistance, support groups and programs to assist with life after cancer.
Nurses can also help those caring for loved ones and provide information to GPs and health professionals.
Ms Robertson says that it’s a privilege be there for South Australians when they need it most.
“On International Nurses Day, and every day, we are honoured to support South Australians through their cancer experience. We really do encourage more people to reach out when they need it. We’re only a phone call away and are here to support you every step of the way,” she said.
Cancer Council’s Nurses are available from Monday to Friday, 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. For more information on Cancer Council 13 11 20, visit the Cancer Council SA website here.
Note to editor
From August, Cancer Council 13 11 20 will be operating out of Cancer Council’s new, integrated cancer building on Greenhill Road. Combining cancer research, prevention, and support services like 13 11 20 alongside 120 rooms of supported accommodation, the building will be the home for all South Australians impacted by cancer. For more information on the new building visit 202greenhill.com.au.