Pancreatic cancer resource offers strength to patients and families
“PanSupport has the credibility of the lived experience of those who contributed to it, and will give other people the strength to continue.” – Graham Wells, pancreatic cancer patient
People living with pancreatic cancer have helped develop an Australian-first online resource to support patients after diagnosis.
Researchers with the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research co-designed the PanSupport web-app, launched today at www.pansupport.org.au, with patients, their families, carers and clinicians.
It provides a hub of advice, resources and information to allow pancreatic cancer patients to live as well as possible. Topics include symptoms and care, accessing support groups, legal and financial advice, and looking ahead to end of life care.
Pancreatic cancer patient, lawyer and Melbourne father Graham Wells, 56, is among those who have contributed to PanSupport’s design and development since the project began two years ago.
“PanSupport is a very good resource, with advice provided by experts as well as people with the lived experience of pancreatic cancer,” Mr Wells said.
“It provides a much more holistic way of not just dealing with a diagnosis but the various life challenges that take place, whether they be financial or emotional, and it gives insights both to patients and their loved ones.”
University of Melbourne Chair in Cancer Nursing, Professor Meinir Krishnasamy, who led the website’s development, said it was a place of respite from the overwhelming statistics confronting these patients.
“Each year, approximately 3,100 Australians are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” Professor Krishnasamy said. “These patients experience significant symptom burden and poor prognosis.
“PanSupport provides the advice and assistance that people affected by pancreatic cancer need, when they need it, no matter where they are. It is a safe, supportive space, acting as an ‘online companion’ from diagnosis onwards.
“PanSupport is the first Australian research-based supportive care resource for and by people affected by pancreatic cancer, covering their physical, psychological, social, information and spiritual requirements.”
PanSupport was produced by University of Melbourne in collaboration with key partners Pancare Foundation, RMIT University and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Visit www.pansupport.org.au.
The project is a Cancer Australia Supporting people with cancer Grant initiative, funded by the Australian Government.