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Keep up to date with what’s happening at Canopy Cancer Care. We’ll be letting you know if we’ve got a new Canopy TV episode, blog article or course that you might want to know about. Keep watching for details.

Resistance Training Increases Muscle Mass - A Case Study

Resistance Training Increases Muscle Mass - A Case Study

In prostate cancer patients, resistance exercise training is know to counteract the adverse effects of chemotherapy and other treatment.  The following article discusses the effects of ADT on body composition, muscle mass, muscle strength, and aerobic capacity and the benefits of resistance exercise training.


Diagnostic – Treatment – Survivorship – A Cancer Patients Journey

Diagnostic – Treatment – Survivorship – A Cancer Patients Journey

It certainly takes a team to treat cancer.  Recently a team from Canopy, TRG Imaging, and PINC &STEEL took to the podium to present a patient journey from diagnosis to post-treatment. 

Thanks to Richard Sullivan, Simon Fu, and Rosie Howard for presenting at the GP CME Conference earlier in the month.  They were also joined by TRG Imaging Radiologist Luke Wheeler and Oncology Physio Lou James to talk about the patient journey with a focus on men’s health.  The practical advice that she gave to the GPs on the role of oncology physiotherapy in patient care was well received. There is no doubt that the impact specialised physio has for patients is beneficial in so many different ways.

Incorporating Oncology Physiotherapy and Allied Health as an integral part of cancer care within a cancer-centric forum is undoubtedly a significant stride towards achieving better-integrated care for individuals impacted by cancer.

We will also be attending the Christchurch event with Dr Fritha Hanning replacing Richard as Chair and Dr Martin Gunn from TRG talking about Incidental Findings from an imaging perspective. 

We look forward to the next GPCME event in Christchurch in August.

Cancer – It takes a team…

Patients and their Experience with Canopy

Patients and their Experience with Canopy

This might look like a cake, but what it represents is a really happy patient.  There is a direct correlation between patient satisfaction and the amount of cakes our nurses receive in appreciation.

At Canopy, we constantly focus on our patients, their experience with us, and how we can do things better for them and their whanau.  Gathering patient feedback has always been a useful way of doing this, but 12 months ago we partnered with Cemplicity to make sure we were doing a really good job of this.  We now have robust, real-time Patient Satisfaction reporting to help us understand our patients a little bit better.  We don’t claim to get it right every time, but the score below shows that our team is doing a great job and should all be really proud. 


Be Inspired Staff Conference

Be Inspired Staff Conference

Earlier in the month we were lucky enough to bring our people together for an inspirational and fun conference, held over two days in two locations. It was the first time that the teams from iMIX, TRG Imaging Ltd, Canopy Cancer Care, Broadway Radiology, and Auckland Breast Centre have been able to come together as a group. 
The theme was “Be Inspired” and we really did have some amazing speakers including Abbas Nazari and Tim Bean share their experiences and views with us as well as Dr Richard Sullivan talking about his experiences as an Oncologist and Dr Andrew West who talked about his time servicing as a doctor with the British Army. 

What was so inspirational was the energy and enthusiasm that came from our people. Through change, challenges, and adversity our team always goes the extra mile, has each other’s backs and deeply cares about our patients. 
We really do have the most incredible team.  One of the challenges on the day was to build the tallest tower out of pasta that would support the weight of an over-sized marshmallow.  Sounds easy enough.  Time pressure and a few red herrings made for an exciting and hilarious challenge.  Our pasta tower-building skills might be lacking, but our enthusiasm for giving it a go should be celebrated, view the photos here.

Dr Daisy Mak & Dr Nicky Lawrence join the Canopy Team

Dr Daisy Mak & Dr Nicky Lawrence join the Canopy Team

We are thrilled to have Specialist Medical Oncologists, Dr Daisy Mak and Dr Nicky Lawrence join the Canopy Cancer Care team, based in Auckland. With their impressive backgrounds and expertise, they will make valuable contributions to our team and our patients.

Dr Daisy Mak will be focusing on patients with thoracic cancers, including lung cancer, mesothelioma, and thymic tumours, while also bringing her experience in breast cancer treatment. Daisy's studies and research at Royal Marsden Hospital and her experience pioneering comprehensive lung cancer programmes at Queen Elizabeth Hospital have given her invaluable insight into the latest cutting-edge treatments.  She is fluent in English and Cantonese, with a functional proficiency in Mandarin.

Dr Nicky Lawrence will be bringing her interest in genitourinary malignancies, especially prostate, kidney, bladder, testicular and penile cancers, to our team. Nicky's passion for research and education makes her an excellent addition to our team. Nicky is an active member of the genitourinary cancer research community and has been an author of publications in high impact research journals.

Both Daisy and Nicky have a passion for providing personalised care for their patients and families, ensuring that they are well-informed and have a comprehensive understanding of their treatment plans.

We are confident that their combined expertise will help us provide the highest level of care for our patients.

Welcome to the team Daisy and Nicky.

Wellbeing Centre Opens at Canopy Cancer Care

Wellbeing Centre Opens at Canopy Cancer Care

We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new Under the Canopy Wellbeing Centre at Canopy Cancer Care in Epsom. This new centre will provide our patients with easy access to supportive services, including a dietitian, physiotherapist, and health psychologist, all on the Mercy Hospital site. Our dietitian and physiotherapist are also available on-site at our North Shore clinic.

We understand that cancer treatment can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, not only physically but also emotionally. Therefore, we aim to provide our patients with the best possible care and support, not only for their cancer but also for their overall well-being.

Our Under the Canopy dietitian will work with our patients to provide personalized nutrition plans and advice tailored to their specific needs. Cancer treatment often impacts appetite and digestive issues, and we are here to help our patients overcome those challenges and support a healthy diet during their treatment.

Our physiotherapists offer exercise plans and physical therapy to help alleviate the physical symptoms of cancer treatment, such as fatigue and to rebuild muscle tone.  Our team will work with each patient to develop a personalized plan to help them manage their symptoms and improve their overall physical health and well-being.

Our health psychologist provides counselling and emotional health support to patients experiencing anxiety or depression associated with their cancer diagnosis. The psychologist works with each patient to develop personalized plans and coping strategies to help them manage mental and emotional health and well-being throughout their cancer journey.

We believe that the Wellbeing Centre will be an integral part of the holistic care we offer at Canopy Cancer Care. We aim to provide our patients with the best possible care and support to help them navigate their cancer journey with as much ease and confidence as possible.

We are excited to welcome our patients to the new Under the Canopy Wellbeing Centre and look forward to supporting them to achieve their overall health and well-being goals.


Canopy Wellbeing Centre Map

Welcome Rosie Howard - Canopy's First Nurse Practitioner

Welcome Rosie Howard - Canopy's First Nurse Practitioner

We are excited to welcome Rosie Howard to our Canopy Cancer Care family!

Rosie joined the Auckland team at the end of 2022 as a Nurse Practitioner supporting the Genitourinary Oncologists.  The role is unique in a private cancer setting and we are pleased to be able to offer this level of clinical excellence and wrap-around care to our patients. 

Rosie works across all tumour streams with a particular focus on Genitourinary (GU) cancers supporting the GU team of Dr Fritha Hanning, Peter Fong, Simon Fu, Carmel Jacobs and Clinical Nurse Specialist Sam James.  Canopy patients receive a specialist level of care from someone in addition to their Oncologist. 

Rosie primarily:

  • Offers reviews for patients on treatment, as she is able to assess, evaluate, monitor, and prescribe treatments as clinically required while collaborating closely with the Oncologists
  • Co-ordinates referrals for patients for diagnostic testing or to allied health and wider health teams
    Offer long-term follow-up clinics post-treatment
  • She is a highly skilled autonomous practitioner with advanced post-graduate qualifications and clinical training.

Internationally, Nurse Practitioners are recognised as a vital part of successful clinical teams so we are very excited to have Rosie in the team.  Nurse Practitioners are known to improve patient outcomes related to health and functional status, quality of life, and patient satisfaction of care due to their extended diagnostic and reasoning skills and clinical knowledge in specialist areas.

Expert Nutrition Support to Individuals with Cancer

Expert Nutrition Support to Individuals with Cancer


Adeline Wong
BCApSc, MHSc, DPH, PGDipDiet (University of Otago)

As a dietitian, Adeline Wong provides expert nutrition support to individuals with cancer. She is now offering her services to oncology patients at Canopy Cancer Care's clinics in Epsom and on the North Shore in Auckland.

Ms. Wong is experienced in providing customized nutrition advice for cancer patients, taking into account their unique needs and treatment plans. She offers guidance on maintaining or improving nutritional-status during treatment, managing side effects such as fatigue and loss of appetite, and improving overall well-being.

Good nutrition is important for all patients with cancer. Side effects of cancer treatment, as well as cancer itself can interfere with eating well. Support from a specialist dietitian ensures, patients receive adequate nutrients and calories to aid in recovery, maintain muscle mass and strength, and prevent malnutrition.

A dietitian can help patients identify food that will alleviate common side effects such as nausea, taste alterations, mouth sores, and bowel problems. Patients may need a customized meal plan if they have special dietary needs or if they are experiencing side effects that make it difficult to get enough nutrients. For example, a patient who is experiencing mouth sores may need soft, bland foods that are easy to swallow, while a patient with diarrhea may need to avoid certain foods that may exacerbate the condition.

In addition to helping patients manage side effects, a dietitian can also recommend supplements when necessary to ensure they are getting enough vitamins and minerals. Good nutrition can improve patient outcomes, help manage symptoms, and improve quality of life. Therefore, it is an essential part of cancer care that should not be overlooked.

Canopy Cancer Care is a leading cancer care provider in New Zealand, offering comprehensive care, support services and world-class treatments to patients with all forms of cancer. Having Ms. Wong as a part of their team ensures that patients receive the best possible care and support throughout their cancer journey.

The importance of diet and nutrition.


World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day

February is Cancer Awareness month and Saturday 4th is World Cancer Day.  Since 2008, World Cancer Day has been acknowledged internationally to bring attention to the impacts of cancer. 

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the largest and oldest international cancer organisation dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community.  World Cancer Day was born on the 4 February 2000 at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium in Paris.

The key aims are to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

Through the international adoption of World Cancer Day we can:

·       promote research

·       prevent cancer

·       improve patient services

·       raise awareness and

·       mobilise the global community to make progress against cancer

Thanks to all involved in this outstanding work.

For more information about World Cancer Day visit

Cancer has an impact on us all so take a moment to reflect on the impact of cancer on you and your whanau — If you have any concerns, talk to your GP or cancer specialist.

#WorldCancerDay #WorldCancerDay2023 #CanopyCancerCare

New location for Canopy Hawke's Bay

New location for Canopy Hawke's Bay

Early in 2021, Canopy Cancer Care opened its first Hawke’s Bay clinic in the Shape My Health building in Hastings with the aim to open for consultation and treatments a few days each week.  It became obvious very soon after that a larger clinic would be required and also opening on additional treatment days to service more patients.

In November 2022, the team moved around the corner into the Little Elms building on Orchard Rd.  Little Elms had previously been home to the Cancer Society and is well known within the local community.

Canopy Hawke’s Bay is now open Mondays – Wednesday from 8.30am – 5pm for treatments and consultations.  The patients and staff are all enjoying the additional space in the new clinic.  All patients are encouraged to bring whanau and support people to their appointments, and now they can do so in Hawke’s Bay with ease, space and privacy.

The new clinic is not only spacious but also tranquil due to the soft natural light and the fishpond at the front entrance.  While it is a clinical space, it feels less so due to these features which brings comfort to patients.  The fishpond especially is a Canopy first.

Canopy Hawke’s Bay will remain at Little Elms until 2025 when our brand-new purpose-built clinic is completed as part of the next phase of the Kaweka Hospital development.

About Cancer

About Cancer

About Cancer – Blog Jan 2023 
Welcome to the Canopy Cancer Care website.   
The best place to seek accurate information is from a Specialist Oncologist or Haematologist and your Clinical Nurse Specialist as they have specific knowledge relating to the various types of cancer, or tumour streams. 
Hopefully, the following can answer some of the questions that you may have about cancer and what that means for you.   
What is cancer? 
Cancer is a disease of the cells in the body.  Everyone’s body is made up of millions of cells.  Cells normally grow, divide and are renewed in a balanced and regular way. Cancer is caused when this process is disrupted and the cells grow in an uncontrolled way.  A solid group of cells is called a tumour, growth or mass. 
A tumour can be benign or malignant.   
Benign means that while the tumour may grow, it won't spread into different parts of the body  
Malignant tumours are cancerous tumours that can go on to invade nearby tissues and spread to other areas or parts of the body.  
Primary and Secondary Cancer 
The place where the cancer starts is known as the primary site or primary cancer. If the cancer spreads to another new are then this is known as a secondary cancer or metastatic disease. 
Cancer isn't contagious. 
Types of cancer 
There are more than 100 different types of cancer.  Each type is classified by the type of cell the cancer originates from - for example, a breast cell, a lung cell, etc. Each type of cancer generally falls into one of five categories: 
Carcinomas are cancers that come from cells that line a body surface, or the lining of a gland - for example, the skin, or the lining of the gut, mouth, cervix, airways 
Sarcomas are cancers that arise from cells which make up the connective tissues such as bones or muscles. For example, an osteosarcoma is a cancer of bone tissue  
Leukaemia is a cancer that develops in the bone marrow affecting developing blood cells, predominantly the white blood cells 
Lymphoma are cancers that develop in the lymphatic system.  The tumours cause swelling in the lymph nodes and other parts of the body 
Myeloma are cancers that affect the plasma cells.  These cells then multiply causing tumours commonly found in the bone marrow and on surfaces of different bones in the body 
What is oncology? 
Oncology is the area of medicine involving cancer.  An oncologist is a doctor specialising in the treatment of cancer either with chemotherapy (medical oncologist) or radiation (radiation oncologist).  Other doctors are involved in the treatment of cancer such as surgeons, palliative care specialists (doctors who specialise in the treatment of symptoms from cancer that cannot be cured) and general physicians (who often are involved in the diagnosis of cancer).  If you have cancer you are likely to be referred to some of these doctors depending on the type of treatment that is advised.  The Oncology Service also consists of specialised nurses, therapists and social workers as the diagnosis of cancer can affect people and their families in many ways.  The Oncology Department also works alongside hospices and the Cancer Society who provide support to people with the diagnosis of cancer. 
What is haematology? 
Haematology is the study of diseases which affect the blood and bone marrow. These can be malignant (ie Leukaemia/lymphoma) or non-malignant (ie Haemophilia).  It involves the study of the immune, blood clotting and vascular systems.  
If you have any further questions, please refer to our FAQs or view this episode of Canopy TV – Cancer Explained

Canopy Cancer Care opens its 6th Clinic - In Rotorua

Canopy Cancer Care opens its 6th Clinic - In Rotorua

New Rotorua Canopy Cancer Care Clinic

It is with great excitement that Canopy Cancer Care opens our 6th clinic, the first private cancer clinic in the Rotorua Lakes region.  This clinic has now opened in Rotorua to ensure cancer patients who live in the Rotorua Lakes area have access to world-class cancer care, delivered locally.

Canopy Rotorua is located at the Southern Cross Rotorua Hospital at 58 Otonga Rd, Springfield.  Southern Cross Hospital have been successfully delivering Oncology services since 2015. 

Patients in the region will now benefit from being part of the larger national Canopy network which includes specialist oncologists, haematologists, clinical nurse specialists, and pharmacists.

While patients will continue to be treated locally by a team they already know to them, they will now also have access to additional multi-disciplinary specialists and cancer drugs. Our core philosophy is to achieve outcomes that matter to the individual patient and their whānau. The partnership we have formed with Southern Cross Hospital Rotorua is instrumental in delivering this goal for local patients.

Dr Prashanth Hari Dass, who has been providing oncology care in the region for a number of years, will now be joined by Dr Alistair Wickham. The nursing team will be led by Richelle Marshall who will be well-known to many of the existing patients and their whānau. Together this team will care for the needs of the growing number of patients in the area.   The Canopy team is committed to offering world-class cancer and healthcare, locally. The opening of our new Rotorua clinic is an important step in delivering on this promise and the team looks forward to being part of the Rotorua Lakes community.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Every day, nine women in New Zealand are diagnosed with breast cancer, so it's likely that someone in your family or workplace will be diagnosed, has had breast cancer in the past, or is supporting someone with breast cancer.

The tireless work that so many doctors, nurses, sonographers, radiologists (and the list goes on) continue to do is life-changing and life-saving for so many patients.

Breast Cancer can affect woman at any age or stage of life, and it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of this disease.

If you have noticed any changes to your breasts recently, such as:
* A new lump or thickening
* Nipple Discharge
* Dimples, puckering or dents
* Or any other unusual changes…

…then now is the time to speak to your doctor who will refer you for a mammogram and an ultrasound. 

The best way to detect any legions or other signs of breast cancer is with a 3D mammogram also known as breast tomosynthesis (TOMO).  The breast is photographed at 1mm slices to produce a three-dimensional image which is very clear and accurate.  This technology increases the invasive cancer detection rate by 60% compared to 2D mammography.  It also reduces the need for unnecessary biopsies and is successful in distinguishing benign from malignant tumours.

Regular screening mammography is recommended for all women over 40 years of age. Plus there are other recommendations:

  • Women from 40-50 years should have an annual mammogram
  • Women over 50 years of age may continue to have annual mammography or opt to have two-yearly mammography. If you are unsure which applies to you, discuss this with your doctor.
  • Women who have had a previous breast cancer should have an annual mammogram.
  • Women who have a first degree relative (ie, their mother or a sister) who has had breast cancer should start having mammograms ten years in age before the age at which their relative was diagnosed.

The teams at Auckland Breast Centre and TRG Imaging are all specialists in mammography and breast imaging.  Here are some FAQs that the team at ABC has answered.  If you need further information, your GP will be able to help.

With continued research and early detection, we are well on the road to better outcomes for so many women and their whānau.

Hair loss and cancer

Hair loss and cancer

Hair loss is a common side effect of some cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation therapy, or a stem cell (bone marrow) transplant. These cancer treatments can harm the cells that help hair grow.

For some people this can be a very distressing side effect.  Read on for some very useful information about hair loss and if the Scalp Cooling Cap is appropriate for you.

The use of scalp cooling or ‘cold caps’ has been shown to effectively reduce the incidence of hair loss for some cancer patients.


What causes hair loss?

Hair loss or alopecia is commonly associated with cancer and chemotherapy. However, only some chemotherapy drugs* and specific combinations of chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss or hair thinning. Chemotherapy works by targeting all rapidly dividing cells in the body. As hair is the second fastest dividing cell, some chemotherapy drugs will affect hair cells, resulting in hair loss.


When will hair start to fall out?

Hair loss usually occurs a few weeks after starting treatment but it is different for everyone.


How does the Scalp Cooling Cap work?

The damage that chemotherapy causes to the hair follicle can in some cases be alleviated by using a scalp cooling cap, also known as a ‘cold cap’. It works by reducing the temperature of the scalp by a few degrees immediately before, during and after the administration of chemotherapy. This in turn reduces the blood flow to hair follicles which may prevent or minimize hair loss.

Scalp Cooling Cap

Will it work for me?

Successful scalp cooling depends on many factors and results will vary for everyone. Research and studies have shown that scalp cooling can be effective across a wide range of chemotherapy regimens. Canopy patients with solid tumours receiving the following drugs may request to use the cool cap:

·         Cyclophosphamide*

·         Docetaxel*

·         Doxorubicin*

·         Paclitaxel*

·         Epirubicin*

The drug regimens AC, TC and FEC contain different combinations of the above drugs.

The cold cap does not work for everyone and is not suitable to use with all types of cancer. It cannot be used with any Haematological diseases including Myeloma, Leukaemia and Lymphomas.


What does it cost and will my medical insurance cover the costs?

Each cooling treatment will cost $500. You will need to check your individual medical insurance policy to see if you have cover. Success rates vary from patient to patient for many different reasons.

Talk to your Canopy Specialist or Specialist Nurse to find out if the Scalp Cooling Cap is right for you.


There are also lots of video resources on YouTube.

5 Minutes with...Dr Oliver Brake

5 Minutes with...Dr Oliver Brake

Dr Oliver Brake
Clinical Haematologist

General haematology, but especially haematologic malignancies. Interests in lymphoid malignancies and plasma cell dyscrasias/protein disorders.  

Graduated from University of Auckland Medical School 2011

Holds fellowships with both the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA)

What inspired you to study and practice medicine and why haematology?
Medicine represents the intersection between science and technology, critical thinking with the goal of helping everyday people.  It’s a privilege to go to work each day with the primary goal of improving the lives of people from all walks of life. Haematology takes this further with rapidly advancing molecular-based understanding of diseases and their treatment, and the opportunity to care for patients longitudinally- rather than at one point in time as with other disciplines.

What do you want your patients to know about working with you?
I am friendly, hardworking and honest. I will always be prepared to answer the hard questions and tell them the truth. I won’t judge a patient for an alternative point of view, and I listen well.

Describe your professional self in three words...
Affable, Diligent, Genuine

Loves: Home DIY, swimming with my wife and children at the beach, golf and cycling (in lycra).

Dislikes: Airport queues, hangovers and English rugby.       

Fears: Failing to live life in the moment and missing out on the simple pleasures (and birds- especially when they flap near your head or are summoned to land on your shoulder at a zoo or aviary).  

welcome to our two newest doctors...

welcome to our two newest doctors...

There is no doubt that the last two years have been difficult for so many people on a number of different levels.  The incredible Canopy team have all pulled together to continue to treat and support our patients in a challenging environment.  We have been able to continue to recruit new staff to ensure that we deliver world-class care and treatment to our patients and their whānau.

Two new consultants have joined the team covering Haematology in the Bay of Plenty and Gynaecology and Sarcoma in the Auckland region.

·         Dr Oliver Brake has joined the Tauranga team as a specialist haematologist

·         Dr Michelle Wilson has joined the Epsom team specialising in Sarcoma and Gynae cancers. 

We are very pleased to have these two specialist consultants join our team as they both bring considerable experience and skill to their areas of expertise.

Welcome to the team Oliver and Michelle.

Mindfulness - What is it exactly?

Mindfulness - What is it exactly?

So what is mindfulness?


*according to google

/ˈmʌɪn(d)f(ʊ)lnəs/  noun

1. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.  "their mindfulness of the wider cinematic tradition"

2. a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

More simply put, it is about paying attention to the present moment. It is a type of relaxing meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you're sensing and feeling in the moment, but without judgement.

Mindfulness as a self-care strategy for people affected by cancer is sometimes overlooked but it is a critical part of managing stress levels and overall well-being.  It helps people cope with the elevated stress levels that often accompany a cancer diagnosis.  Prioritising your own health and well-being during a cancer journey can help to manage the adverse effects of treatment and symptoms. 

Some simple self-care practices may be just looking after the basics including eating well, sleeping well, moving your body, getting outside if possible and taking regular breaks.  Finding activities that give you energy and help you to relax and re-energize all have positive benefits.

Mindfulness helps people respond rather than react to distress, to communicate better and get the support that they need. 

If you think mindfulness might be useful for you or someone you know, there are a lot of people who can help.   Anyone can come and see a trained psychologist at the Cancer Society by calling 0800 CANCER or visiting our website  Their service is free and it's available to anyone.

There are also a number of really useful apps including Headspace and Calm

For more information, have a look at this episode of Canopy TV, Under the Canopy - Mindfulness.

Does Cancer Fatigue Ever Go Away

Does Cancer Fatigue Ever Go Away

It can make people feel like they’ve had a few rounds in a boxing ring. Lack of energy, sleeping more, feeling completely wiped out, not wanting to do normal activities or being unable to do them, trouble thinking or concentrating, paying less attention to personal appearance and feeling tired physically and emotionally are all common symptoms of fatigue.

For some people, their fatigue improves quickly, yet for others it can last well after their cancer treatment has finished. Either way, fatigue can be very frustrating as it can prevent you from functioning normally and gets in the way of doing things you enjoy or need to do. However, by understanding your fatigue you can do things to help minimise the effect of it and find ways to improve your own stamina and strength.

Why fatigue might last longer for some patients and not others is unknown. There are so many causes of fatigue and everyone’s experience is different which makes it virtually impossible to find one single solution to help relieve it or predict when it might start to get better.

A lot of people underestimate how much fatigue can affect their daily lives. Some patients can feel like their fatigue is a constant reminder of their cancer, which makes it hard to accept and others worry that family, friends and colleagues might get upset or become impatient with them if they complain about feeling tired, have no energy or be completely wiped out.

So, with little certainty around when your fatigue might improve, the question becomes how do you cope with it?

Understanding the patterns of your own fatigue, what you can do on a good day and what happens on a bad day, and how long it might last are key to help managing fatigue. One of the first things you should do is talk to your doctor or nurse and explain what you are experiencing and how bad it is so they can help you find ways to manage your symptoms.

Canopy has introduced a Under the Canopy program which provides patients a toolkit of evidence based complementary therapies that help them manage the side effects of their cancer treatment. These include advice on reducing stress and anxiety, assistance with improving physical strength through personalised fitness and rehabilitation programs, guidance on nutrition and diet and other services specially designed for cancer patients.

It’s important to remember that although fatigue is a common side effect of cancer, there are people you can talk to and steps you can take to reduce the impact and help you cope with it.

COVID-19 and your mental wellbeing

COVID-19 and your mental wellbeing

We appreciate that this a very challenging time for everyone.
For those living alone, working from home, wrangling small children while working from home and those on the front line, the effects of COVID-19 can be exhausting, daunting and even a little terrifying.

Over the past few weeks, our staff and patients have been sharing their favourite mindfulness and meditation apps, blogs and websites for dealing with the stress and isolation of COVID-19.

The following is a list of the most popular. The apps are all free so take a moment and have a look.

And for the kids:

COVID-19 Labtests update

COVID-19 Labtests update

Please check their website for regular updates as the information is constantly being updated.  At present some of their collection rooms have dedicated testing times for Oncology patients / Immunocompromised patients.
The following Labtests are open for Oncology/Haematology patients between 7-12pm.
* Manurewa
* Botany
* Massey
* Northcote (there is also a COVID-19 testing station here)
The general public will be free to use these rooms from 12pm on wards.
If you need to visit any other Labtests not listed above, please make it known to staff on arrival that you are an Oncology/Haematology patient receiving cancer treatment and you will be given preferential treatment.

Support crew

Support crew

Making it easy to give a hand Support Crew is a free online support platform that easily co-ordinates meals and support for family and friends in need. Create a Support Page for yourself or someone else.

Start a FREE support page >

Strategies for coping with cancer

Strategies for coping with cancer

The Cancer Society is excited to announce the dates for the Cancer Society’s Webinar Series and Cancer Support Series (previously “Tips and Tools”). 

The sessions are led by their experienced registered psychologists and aim to provide people with a range of strategies to help cope with cancer. 

1. Webinar Series – online talks via Zoom by a Cancer Society Psychologist

When: Fortnightly on Wednesdays 10.00am - 11.30am

Where: Via Zoom meeting (once registered you will receive a link to join)

  • Finding a New Normal - Hear about common difficulties people experience adjusting to life after a cancer diagnosis and treatment and strategies to help you find a “New Normal”.
  • Coping with Emotions and Communication - Learn ways of coping with the impact of a cancer diagnosis and explore strategies for communicating about your cancer.
  • Stress Management and Sleeping Easy - Learn strategies to cope with stress related to a cancer diagnosis and tips and tools for sleeping better.
  • Strategies for Supporters - Supporting someone with cancer? Learn how to cope with the impact of cancer on your life and develop strategies to support your loved one and look after yourself.

**There are limited numbers so please encourage your patients to register by emailing

While these dates are confirmed, they are open to being responsive to the needs of the patients and may add topics and extra webinars if these talks fill up, so email Anna if you have any questions or feedback. 


2. Cancer Support Series – In person talks by a Cancer Society Psychologist

When: Fortnightly on Thursdays 12.30 - 1.30pm

Where: Support Room, Domain Lodge Grafton

  • Sleeping Easy — Learn about why sleep is important and strategies for sleeping better.
  • Finding a New Normal — To help you cope with life after cancer treatment ends and find a new normal.
  • Riding the emotional roller-coaster — Learn how to cope with emotions related to a cancer diagnosis and treatment.
  • Communication and support — Learn how to talk to friends and whānau about your cancer and get the support you need.
  • Strategies for Supporters — Supporting someone with cancer? Learn how to cope with the impact of cancer on your life and develop strategies to support your loved one and look after yourself.
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