Department of Gynaecological Oncology, Westmead Psychosocial services

Cancer may be associated with a variety of emotional, spiritual and psychological changes.

These changes can affect the person who has cancer, their carer and their family. Sometimes a cancer diagnosis leads to 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 a lot 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

Speaking with a psychologist can be helpful in processing information and making decisions, negotiating major life changes and dealing with difficult emotions. They can provide strategies to help cope with practical concerns as well as emotional difficulties. Patients are seen in clinics at the Crown Princess Cancer Centre at the Westmead Hospital. If you need an appointment you can talk to a member of your treating team to ask for a referral to the psychologist. Alternatively you can call to make an appointment. Please call 8890-9539.

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.


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 Gynaecological Cancer Support Group

The Westmead Gynaecological Cancer Support Group provides information and education for women who have been treated for gynaecological cancers. The group meets monthly on a Friday, from February to December in the Education Centre at Westmead Hospital - Covid 19 Restrictions apply. For more information contact the Westmead Centre for Gynaecological Cancer on 8890-6801 and ask to speak with the Social Worker or Clinical Psychologist for gynaecological cancer, or you may contact Kim Hobbs for more information on 0447 732 541.

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.

Fact Sheets

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.