Mater Cancer Care Centre, Brisbane

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It’s a heartbreaking reality that one in two Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime—meaning each day around 70 Queensland families are blindsided by an unimaginable cancer diagnoses.*

Cancer has a signficant impact on our loved ones which is why Mater has been providing the community with leading cancer care services for more than 100 years.

The dedicated and experienced team at Mater are committed to providing all patients, regardless if they are public or private, comprehensive and compassionate care that is personalised to meet their specific care and support needs, both in inpatient and outpatient settings.

By offering a wide range of support services, Mater’s team of healthcare professionals ensure patients’ health and wellbeing is at the core of everything it does.

By going dry this July, your support will assist the physio department to commence a program in the future for prehabilitation to support men and women who are undergoing surgery for their cancer.

If they can improve their fitness before surgery they have much better outcomes and would reduce complications such as wound infections.

This would be a multidisciplinary team approach including Physiotherapy, Dietetics and Psychology.


Latest Updates

The Mater Brisbane's guided exercise programs continues thanks to Dry July

Your incredible support is giving patients at Mater access to specially designed programs aimed at engaging and supporting them through guided exercise during and after their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Exercise can be effective in reducing physical deterioration, levels of fatigue, and can improve the quality of life of people with cancer.

These programs however go so much further than providing patients with exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle advice. They incorporate a holistic approach to address the issues and concerns faced by people having cancer treatment.

'Return to Wellness Program' receives a $33,000 grant from Dry July!

The team at Mater were thrilled to receive a cheque from Dry July for $33,000 to support its Return to Wellness Program for breast cancer patients. A number of people went dry in July 2019 resulting in these funds being raised to support high-risk breast cancer patients access a guided exercise program with a physiotherapist and breast care nurse for support. As part of the program, patients also receive advice about their diet and lifestyle choices to improve their health. Thank you to the Dry July Foundation and to everyone who took part in last year’s challenge. The countdown is on for Dry July 2020!

How you helped Elise’s fight with cancer

Imagine how your whole life would change if you heard the words “You have bowel cancer”. For Elise, hearing these words ignited her will to fight.

Elise had no symptoms of bowel cancer, so the diagnosis came as a complete shock.

Suffering from a sudden heart attack, Elise required a triple-bypass and a short while after her operation, felt something burst in her stomach.

“At first, I was teary and upset. But then I thought, ‘Why should I be? I’m in good hands at Mater.’ I’ve been through a lot, and am still here.”

“Normally, surgeons remove as much of the cancer as possible but in my case, they couldn’t operate as the cancer is behind my intestines. Chemotherapy is my only hope.”

“I’m happy at Mater—I feel at home. It’s welcoming.”

Funds provided by Mater Foundation through Dry July has allowed the creation and installation of wall murals, designed to lift patients’ moral and mental health during their time at the MCCC. The murals—‘Kimberley sunset in Kakadu’ and ‘Scenic Rim’ were captured by photographer Vanessa Bertagnole—allow patients to view the sunset while walking through the hospital corridors and support the healing journey of Mater’s patients.

For almost one and a half years, Elise has been a patient at the Mater Cancer Care Centre (MCCC).

“It’s wonderful to be able to go for a walk while receiving treatments, see these murals and not feel trapped inside. I feel I can escape from my treatments, for a short while.”

Elise’s ongoing treatment is proving positive, and her goal of beating cancer looks promising. Recent scans showed that her cancer is in a state of stasis. Her treatments continue to ensure that the cancer will not grow again.

To anyone who knows a friend or family member with cancer, Elise has a message.

Treat us as we are. Don’t stay away. Come together in support of one another. Don’t feel sorry.”

"Return to Wellness Program" at Mater Cancer Care Centre receives funding

Funds raised through Dry July 2019 will enable Dry July Foundation to fund the "Return to Wellness Program" at Mater Cancer Care Centre.

The Return to Wellness Program will give high-risk breast cancer patients access to a guided exercise program with a Physiotherapist and Breast Care Nurse, each providing guidance and support.

Patients having treatment for breast cancer can feel isolated from their family and community due to treatment effects. Physical activity in patients requires motivation and support, and instruction in a supported evidence based setting. The Wellness Program's aim is to improve the overall wellness in the body. 

Exercise during treatment has shown to reduce side effects of treatment (related to chemotherapy) and improve outcomes for cancer recurrence risk. Exercise and wellness after breast cancer treatment is an area highlighted by Cancer Australia as a focus area. Patients completing treatment benefit from exercise and support as they return to normal life after a serious diagnosis and treatments.  

There are many misconceptions in our community about diet & exercise and weight loss generally - treatment for breast cancer can add a layer of complexity and leave patients unsure what they can do.  

The Wellness Program will provide the forum to walk patients through an evidence based exercise program, healthy eating during and after treatment and opportunities to interact with the group to highlight key topics of interest and support for this patient group. 

Oncology Patient Lounge refurbishment

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts and generosity of Dry July participants like you in 2018, Mater in Brisbane has been able to refurbish the oncology patient lounge on one of their wards.

Mater’s clinicians and nurses identified that patients and their families needed a quiet, private area, to spend time with their family and friends, while also being able to have difficult discussions regarding their cancer treatment and disease progression. With your generous help, the patient lounge has now been beautifully refurbished and is available for patients and their families to use. 

Natalie Lanyon, a Social Work Team Leader at Mater says “the refurbishment of the lounge has given our patients and their family and friends a comfortable space, offering some privacy and an area for them to be together in a non-medical space, during what is often a very difficult time in their lives. As a Dry July participant you have made this happen. Thank you so much.” 

For patients in the end stages of life, the oncology lounge is able to offer so much more than just a comfortable space; it’s a space where they can connect, laugh and reminisce with family and friends. Often patients have compromised immune systems and are unable to leave the ward areas in hospital. But thanks to people like you, they now have a space away from the clinical area to be with their loved ones. 

The lounge also provides an area for important discussions and supportive conversations with family members, who may be grieving the imminent loss of their loved one.  

Mater’s oncology ward is 28 bed ward, which cares for cancer patients year round; from symptom management to investigations into the progress of their disease and, sometimes, end of life care.  

Thanks to your enthusiasm, commitment and support of Dry July you have made such a lasting impact on cancer patients and their families. Thank you for making a real difference to their lives. 

Donate to Mater Cancer Care Centre, Brisbane