People battling cancer don’t have to face the challenge on their own.

Portland District Health’s cancer nurse coordinator Kristy Ward can help people with all types of cancer to understand their diagnosis and access the services and support they need.

The coordinator provides information about local treatments such as radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy, assists patients to access services, including PDH’s allied health and community-based services, and provides information and contacts for local, regional and state-wide cancer services if needed.

She can also link people to a local social support group which has face-to-face meetings each month and PDH has an eight-week oncology rehab program funded by Cancer Council Victoria to give patients access to an exercise physiologist and help to reduce the impact of the treatments they are undergoing.

There’s also a wig service that has been boosted this year with $5000 worth of products donated through Beats Cycle for Hope and Rotary Club of Portland. Anyone with a cancer diagnosis can access the wig service.

The cancer coordinator service is available for people with any type of diagnosed of cancer and patients don’t have to be undergoing treatment at PDH.

“There is a lot of demand for the service but I want to make sure that everyone who needs it knows that it is available,” Ms Ward said.

People in hospital receiving treatment can be referred directly to the service, GPs can provide referrals, including as part of a care plan, and people can also contact the service directly.

“We get very positive feedback from people,” Ms Ward said. “They really appreciate the support with that they are going through, including strategies on how to live with their diagnosis and improve their quality of life.”

Ms Ward works each Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and can be contacted at PDH on 5522 1410 or