International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
September marks International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Around the world, during the month of September organisations highlight childhood cancer, educating the community on the different types of cancer in children, treatments, survivorship issues and the impact of cancer on the family.
This year, the PICS together with the partnering health services hosted events in September to raise awareness of childhood cancer in Victoria, and to support and educate the paediatric oncology community, including families and health professionals. Events included:
- PICS 2017 Annual Forum: On Thursday 14th September approximately 80 health professionals and representatives from the Victorian Government, support services and consumers joined us at Peter Mac for this years Annual Forum. With a focus on leukaemia, we were pleased to host two guest speakers; Associate Professor Paul Ekert (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) and Dr Luciano Dalla-Pozza (Head Cancer Centre for Children, The Children’s Hospital Westmead), who joined members of the PICS team to deliver a range of talks on leukaemia research and care in Victoria.
- Addressing problematic themes in therapeutic conversations workshops: We were fortunate to host Dr Paul Gibney, a psychotherapist and family therapist, who facilitated a workshop aimed to provide information and illustrations for clinicians talking to families about distressing issues. Two workshops were held, with 29 health professionals registering to attend the Workshop at Monash Children’s Hospital on Wednesday 20th September and 61 registering to attend The Royal Children’s Hospital workshop on Thursday 21st September.
- Gold Ribbon Art Therapy Exhibition: This exhibition, running throughout the month of September at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital, and at ONTrac at Peter Mac in October was designed as a community event connecting children and young people with cancer, and their families, through art. Children, adolescents and families were invited to create a painting with the gold ribbon, which represents childhood cancer, featured in their imagery. More than 80 canvases were completed and displayed around the hospitals.