Volunteer Voice – November

Volunteers play a pivotal role in creating a cancer free future.

Cancer Council celebrates 20 years of 13 11 20 in Queensland

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Last month, Cancer Council celebrated 20 years of 13 11 20 making a difference in the lives of Queenslanders affected by cancer.

In the two decades that have passed since its launch, the cancer information and support service has received more than half a million phone calls.

Over the past five years alone, around 68,000 Queenslanders have called Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 for resources, psychological support, prevention and research information.

Throughout its history, volunteers have been crucial to ensuring the continued availability of this service.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said 13 11 20 played a vital role in ensuring all Queenslanders had access to support and information about all cancers.

“Over the past five years, 35 per cent of Queensland callers to 13 11 20 were seeking information about practical issues relating to a cancer diagnosis,” Ms Clift said.

“29 per cent of callers sought general cancer information and 13 per cent needed psychological or emotional support.

“Among local callers, 30 per cent were diagnosed with cancer, 21 per cent were friends, family and carers, and 16 per cent were health professionals seeking information and advice.

“13 11 20 enables Queenslanders to speak with a health professional about all questions relating to all areas of cancer – whether physical, emotional, psychological or practical.

“Our qualified health professionals offer information and advice about preventing cancer, ensuring early detection, understanding a diagnosis, treatment and recurrence.

13 11 20 also connects Queenslanders to vital local services, including CCQ’s ESA Wig and Turban Service, a Community Support Coordinator, Nurse Counsellor or vital transport services.

“13 11 20 also provides referrals to cancer counselling and practical support services for Queenslanders in need,” Ms Clift said.

“In the past five years, about 4000 callers were referred to CCQ’s Cancer Counselling Service and 610 callers were connected with a peer support volunteer.

More than 26,000 Queenslanders are diagnosed with cancer each year, and about 8600 die from the disease.

Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays), Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 is a free, confidential service, supporting people in need thanks to the generous donations of Queenslanders.

Without the support of volunteers, the success of this service over the past 20 years would have been impossible. Thank you!

For more information, call 13 11 20 or visit our support page.

Tablelands Relay For Life raises $1 million for cancer fight

Tablelands Relay For Life

More than 280 locals took to the track at Tablelands Relay For Life in October – tipping the total raised by the event since it launched in 2009 to more than $1 million!

The Cancer Council event, held October 22-23 at Davies Park, Mareeba, raised more than $70,000 this year alone.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift thanked participants for their dedication and overwhelming generosity over the past eight years.

“We want to commend the efforts of all those who have helped reach this incredible milestone – the teams, organisers, committee members and supporters,” Ms Clift said.

“It was wonderful to see so many supporters at Relay this year, walking and fundraising in support of our vision for a cancer free future.

“Relay is a time of hope for those affected by cancer, and the support offered up by locals to cancer patients, survivors and carers really shone through.

“Funds raised from Relay For Life will continue to support locals affected by cancer, helping ensure locals have the best prospects of detecting, treating and beating the disease.”

Tablelands Relay For Life chairperson Gavin Johnson, who has been with the event since the beginning, said the committee were extremely proud to announce the community had raised over $1 million for the fight against cancer.

“This has been a great achievement for the community,” Mr Johnson said.

“To be able to raise more than $1 million for cancer research and support programs is something we can all be proud of.

“On behalf of the committee, we want to thank the community for their ongoing support.

“It was a great weekend at Relay For Life and we look forward to relaying again in 2017.”

In Far North Queensland alone, around 1400 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and 460 people die from the disease.

“We need to continue to do all we can to continue on our mission for a cancer free future – and with your help that is possible,” Ms Clift said.

“Stay tuned for more details on when registrations will be open for the 2017 event. We hope to see you there!”

Congratulations to all the volunteers who have donated their time and energy to helping Tablelands Relay For Life reach this incredible milestone. We couldn’t do it without you, thank you!

For more information about Relay For Life, visit relayforlife.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.

Skin Cancer Action Week 2016

Each November, Cancer Council and the Australasian College of Dermatologists join forces for National Skin Cancer Action Week.

Two in three Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by age 70, and sadly Queenslanders are more likely to be diagnosed with and die from melanoma than any other Australians.

In Queensland alone, more than 3600 people are diagnosed with melanoma each year and more than 390 die from the disease.

From November 20-26, Cancer Council will be reminding Queenslanders of the importance of sun protection and early detection as we move into the scorching summer months.

Each year over 2000 Australians die as a result of skin cancer, with it estimated that Australia spends more than $1 billion per year treating skin cancer.

However, most skin cancers can be prevented by the use of good sun protection.

Throughout Skin Cancer Action Week, Queenslanders will be encouraged to actively think about their sun protection habits and what they can do to reduce their skin cancer risk.

A combination of sun protections measures, along with getting to know your skin and regularly checking for any changes , are key to reducing risk.

Queensland’s sunny climate makes its residents uniquely vulnerable to skin cancer, making ongoing vigilance in sun protection necessary.

New data from Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey will also be revealed during the week to provide a snapshot of the sun protection behaviours of Australians.

Stay sun safe this summer by following these guidelines:

  • Slip on some sun protective clothing to covers as much skin as possible.
  • Slop on minimum SPF30, broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen. Put it on 20 minutes before you go outdoors and every two hours afterwards. Sunscreen should never be used to extend the time you spend in the sun.
  • Slap on a hat. Choose a style that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
  • Seek shade.
  • Slide on some sunglasses. Make sure they meet Australian standards and an Eye Protection Factor (EPF) 10.

The Wounded Pelicans, the fitness duo strive for more


Chris Evans and Ant Sedman are in the home stretch of a year-long campaign to raise money for Cancer Council Queensland.

What started as a love of running for the two young Gold Coast men has become much more, as they’ve pushed themselves to the limits to raise cancer awareness through the completion of 38 endurance events throughout 2016.

After running in eight events in six months in 2015, Chris and Ant felt compelled to run for a cause this year, and are hopeful their fundraising efforts can help people affected by cancer, and move us closer to finding a cure.

The pair have already raised over $16,500, and are aiming to reach their goal of $20,000 by the end of the year.

Starting in January with the 21 kilometre Coombabah Cross Country Trail, Chris and Ant have participated in events across South East Queensland, and even went international to tackle the Kokoda Trail in September.

They’ve also organised a number of their own fundraising events throughout the year, recently spending 24 hours on a treadmill.

Beginning their marathon effort at 7 am on Saturday in Burleigh Heads’ Justin Park, the pair each ran 132 kilometres over the course of 24 hours and encouraged others to join in by making extra gym equipment available.

Through this challenge alone, the pair raised around $1,500 to help Cancer Council Queensland.

Their year is not over yet though, with the pair set to host their first race on December 4.

The fun run will start at North Burleigh Beach, with participants running either five or ten kilometres to and from Broadbeach.

A percentage of the ticket sales for this event will go towards the Wounded Pelicans’ Cancer Council Queensland fundraiser.

Thank you to Chris and Ant for their amazing fundraising effort! Through their generosity and dedication, Cancer Council Queensland can continue moving towards a cancer free future.

For more information about the Wounded Pelicans, or to find out how you can be involved in any of their events, visit thewoundedpelicans.com/.


Queensland secures world-first prostate cancer survivorship centre

Last month National health experts announced the launch of the world’s first Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship, to be led by Queensland.

The nation’s top prostate cancer experts will lead the multi-disciplinary survivorship centre, the first of its kind in the world.

More than 10 Australian men are diagnosed with the disease every hour and around 200,000 Australian men are living with prostate cancer today.

Director and Menzies Foundation Professor of Allied Health Research at Griffith University’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Professor Suzanne Chambers, said Australia’s leaders in prostate cancer survivorship would work closely to benefit the community.

“The Centre for Research Excellence will translate research into action across four main themes for the benefit of men diagnosed,” Prof Chambers said.

“We will examine psychosocial and psychosexual health, exercise medicine, the economic costs of prostate cancer and geographic inequalities in prostate cancer outcomes.

“Our work will deliver new knowledge and improvements in health services and research that will be meaningful and enduring for all men diagnosed.

“At a national level, efforts to address the individual and community costs of prostate cancer have failed to have lasting impact.

“Our Centre for Research Excellence provides a unique and crucial pathway to focus those efforts at a national level to help all men with the disease.”

Cancer Council Queensland CEO and Chief Investigator on the Centre for Research Excellence, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, said the approach would have broader application to chronic disease in men, and to the health of regional and rural Australians.

“10 Australian men are told every hour that they have prostate cancer – three of these will have clinically high distress and long-term unmet psychological needs,” Prof Dunn said.

“Most of these men will experience sexual morbidity and half of these men will have long-term unmet sexual support needs.

“Only two of these 10 men will be sufficiently physically active. Eight will be overweight or obese.

“Through the survivorship centre, we will increase capacity in preparation for future challenges, with an ever-increasing cohort of men with prostate cancer in our community.

“We will target critical problems in survivorship after prostate cancer.”

Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia CEO Anthony Lowe said around 20,000 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in Australia.

“Survival for prostate cancer has never been higher – but many men are not living well with the disease,” Associate Professor Lowe said.

“Research experts will address unmet needs and health service gaps in prostate cancer nationally and internationally through this survivorship centre.

“We are proud to see the world’s first Centre for Research Excellence established in Queensland, supporting evidence-based policy and practice in prostate cancer survivorship care.”

Prostate cancer prevalence has increased by 75 per cent in Australia over the past decade. One in nine Australian men aged 65 and over is a prostate cancer survivor.

The Centre for Research Excellence in Prostate Cancer Survivorship will be established thanks to funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council, with chief investigators from Cancer Council, Griffith University, Edith Cowan University, Monash University, University of Adelaide and UQ.

The NHMRC funding grant totals $2,498,842 and runs from 2016 until 2020.

CCQ healthy recipe book

Did you know that less than 4 per cent of Australians eat enough vegetables each day?

In fact, the average Aussie only eats half that amount!

To encourage volunteers and staff to get some extra veggies into their day, Cancer Council Queensland’s Healthy Workplace Committee has compiled a special recipe booklet.

Featuring some of the favourite healthy recipes of Cancer Council staff, you’re sure to find some inspiration for how you can incorporate more fruit and vegetables into your diet.

Do you have a healthy recipe you’d like to share?
If you have a favourite recipe containing at least one vegetable or fruit, please share it with us! Your recipe, along with those of other volunteers and staff, will then be collated into a CCQ cookbook.

The person who shares the most innovative recipe will receive a prize to help keep them inspired in the kitchen.

Please send your recipes to ccqhealthyworkplace@cancerqld.org.au, and together we will create a CCQ cookbook!


We would love to hear your thoughts on Volunteer Voice call the volunteer hotline on 1300 851 957 or email volunteer@cancerqld.org.au with your feedback, suggestions and stories.