Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Psychosocial services

Cancer is often associated with a variety of emotional, spiritual and psychological changes.

These changes can affect the person who has cancer, their carer and their family. Often, there are sudden changes in a person’s circumstances, making it more difficult for them to cope. There are also lots of practical difficulties that can arise. Family members and carers are often under lots of pressure and may feel they have no one to turn to for support, advice or even just clear information.

Some common problems that clinical psychologists would consult for include:
  • Depression
  • Needle phobia or other phobias that interfere with treatment and recovery
  • Coping with physical pain/nausea or fatigue due to cancer treatment
  • Anxiety (e.g., about treatment, recurrence, the future)
  • Adjustment difficulties (including adjusting to cancer, life after cancer and complicated grief)
  • Body image disturbance
  • Relationship or sexuality issues
  • Unmanageable distress related to life threatening illness
  • Stress and worry
  • Anger
  • Sleep difficulty
  • Spirituality
  • Talking to children about cancer
  • Communicating better with your loved ones and treating team

How to make contact

The social worker in gynaecological cancer and clinical psychologist are available to see all gynaecological cancer patients and their family members and or carers. To book an appointment with the clinical psychologist you can call the clinic on 8890-8530. Patients are seen in clinics of the Crown Princess Cancer Centre. If you need an appointment please call 8890-5555.

Health Care Interpreter Service

A free and confidential interpreter service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Ask the staff to arrange an interpreter for you. Auslan interpreters are also available.

A clinical psychologist has specialised training in helping people overcome psychological difficulties, and can help you cope better, learn ways to relax, communicate better and deal with some of the common issues that present during and after your cancer treatment.

Mindfulness

Patients and carers can learn how to manage stress with Present Moment Awareness. You can find out more about the free 4-week beginners course here.

Westmead Hospital Gynaecological Cancer Support Group

This is a group for women living with gynaecological cancer. This peer support environment offers women a chance to meet and share their feelings and concerns. You can view the Westmead Hospital Gynaecological Cancer Support Group calendar here.

Information Privacy

All members of staff involved in your care have access to the notes and records that are kept about your contact with us. They will be aware of any difficulties you are having, without you having to repeat the story. At the same time information placed on file is limited and is summarised. The team is mindful of confidentiality. Your GP is also very important in your care. Just like other staff at the cancer centre, we may send information to your GP about your contact with us if it is relevant.

"If you have concerns about the sharing of your personal information with other health professionals, you can discuss this with any member of the team"