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Quality support services for cancer patients and their carers

Mater Health and Wellness provides quality private support services from an experienced team of allied health professionals. Services assist patients and their carers during cancer care and recovery.


Audiologists are available to assist you should the following issues arise:

  • deterioration in hearing in one or both ears
  • difficulty communicating due to reduced hearing
  • increase in tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ear)
  • balance problems (vertigo/dizziness)
  • hearing impairment due to side effects of some cancer medications.

Nutrition and dietetics

Accredited practising dietitians provide advice to:

  • assist you in meeting your nutritional needs before and during treatment
  • provide strategies to assist with symptoms such as nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, taste changes, dry mouth
  • assist you to maintain a healthy weight and prevent
  • unintentional weight loss
  • reduce the risk of/prevent malnutrition
  • evaluate and monitor interventions in order to provide a positive effect on nutritional status
  • aid recovery and improve wellbeing
  • help you achieve a healthy diet on completion of treatment

Lymphoedema management

Lymphoedema or swelling of the limbs may be a side effect of cancer treatment. Accredited lymphoedema therapists can assist you by:

  • assessing the affected limb(s)/body part(s)
  • providing education regarding lymphoedema and any potential complications
  • providing tailored treatment, including massage,& compression bandaging, skin care, wound care,
  • exercise, laser and compression pump
  • providing education and training in selfmanagement of your oedema
  • fitting of off the shelf and custom compression garments.


A clinical psychologist is available to offer interventions on cancer-related issues such as:

  • adjusting to a diagnosis of cancer and working on stressors related to treatment
  • depression and mood management related to cancer and its treatment
  • chronic and acute pain management
  • health changing behaviours such as increasing motivation to exercise and having a healthy diet
  • fear of cancer recurrence and survivorship issues
  • personal growth—building self-esteem and confidence, identifying values, and beliefs


Physiotherapists can assist you with the following:

  • mobility, strength or balance concerns
  • muscle tightness, scar adhesions and postural changes following surgery
  • fatigue—gentle modified exercise and activity can help your energy levels and enjoyment
  • peripheral neuropathy (altered sensations in your hands/feet)

Social work

  • brief family interventions focusing on:
    • adjustment to role changes
    • communicating with children about your cancer
    • advance care planning for patients and families with advanced cancer
    • counselling and assistance for carers.

Mater Aged Placement Service is available if you or your loved one requires residential care in in an aged care facility (phone 07 3163 3866).

Occupational therapy

Experienced occupational therapists can assist with the following while you are having treatment in Mater Cancer Care Centre or as an outpatient:

  • anxiety management related to your treatment having procedures such as MRIs or having needles sleep disturbance
  • pain—acute and chronic
  • treatment or cancer effects that are impacting on your ability to enjoy your usual daily activities, including self-care, leisure, socialising and work
  • assessment of functional ability and the provision of aids and equipment to make tasks easier and safer, therefore improving your independence and quality of life.

Stress reduction and relaxation

Our occupational therapists also offer programs on mindfulness-based stress reduction and relaxation skills.

Speech pathology

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy may lead to difficulty swallowing and other oral side effects.

Speech pathology services include:

  • assessment and rehabilitation of swallow function
  • provision of strategies to make swallowing easier and safer
  • advice about the safest food and fluid textures when experiencing swallowing difficulties
  • assistance and advice with maintaining oral hygiene and comfort
  • assistance with communication difficulties related to voice, speech, and language.

Mater Health and Wellness staff are recognised providers with private health funds and Medicare. Rebates for services are available where applicable.

Mater acknowledges consumer consultation in the development of this patient information.
Mater Doc Num: PI-CLN-410012
Last modified 09/8/2017.
Consumers were consulted in the development of this patient information.
Last consumer engagement date: 12/7/2014
For further translated health information, you can visit healthtranslations.vic.gov.au/ supported by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services that offers a range of patient information in multiple languages.
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