Tasmanian support group for gynaecological cancer

TEAM: Cancer support coordinator Megan Blake-Uren and clinical nurse consultant Adele Hudson. Picture: Scott Gelston
TEAM: Cancer support coordinator Megan Blake-Uren and clinical nurse consultant Adele Hudson. Picture: Scott Gelston

The bigger the support base, the better the outcome. 

This is the message of Adele Hudson, a statewide clinical nurse consultant for gynaecological oncology services.

A unique partnership between Mrs Hudson and Cancer Council Tasmania is empowering women living with gynaecological cancer. 

Through a monthly support group held in Launceston, Mrs Hudson is assisting women transitioning from acute care.

She said sometimes sharing a simple cup of tea with friends was just what the doctor ordered. 

“Women are complex people, with many balls up in the air at once,” she said. 

“We are mothers, wives, we are holding down a job.

“We tend to put ourselves last and symptoms are often normalised. 

“This group is empowering women and helping them to feel worthwhile.”

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Based in Hobart, Mrs Hudson is by the side of her clients through every stage of their cancer journey.

Traveling to Launceston every week, it was the working relationship with cancer support coordinator Megan Blake-Uren that lead to the support group being formed. 

Mrs Blake-Uren said Launceston was “incredibly lucky” to have a clinical nurse consultant on board. 

“It’s about thinking outside the square, finding where the need is and then looking at how to meet it,” she said.

“To have someone like Adele – to be able to pick up the phone with a technical question. 

“That just doesn’t happen in other states.

“We are achieving something here that is very unique.” 

Each year about 1500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia, most at an advanced stage.

Mrs Hudson said she meets with more than 20 new woman every month in Tasmania. 

“I often use the analogy that they are like a baton in a running race,” she said.

“They are picked up and then they are sent on their way.

“There are many issues that arise once a woman leaves that whirlwind of treatment.”

The gynaecological support group meets on the third Thursday of the month at Launceston’s Cancer Support Centre.