2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Daffodil Day in New Zealand. That’s 30 years of coming together to raise much-needed funds to support people with cancer. Currently, one in three New Zealanders is affected by cancer. Within the next 30 years, it’s estimated to be two in three. Lucy Elwood, Chief Executive of the Cancer Society of New Zealand (pictured left) talks about what 2020 brings, Daffodil Day and the Cancer Society’s information on cancer.
“Since 1990, Daffodil Day has inspired people to come together to support our work, it’s also been an opportunity to raise awareness of cancer in New Zealand.
“Inequities in care and survival and the rapidly changing treatments have changed the way we support people. The COVID-19 pandemic found us moving a number of our services online and rethinking how we could best support people with cancer.
“We [The Cancer Society] provide the largest number of printed publications on cancer in New Zealand, and we’re currently exploring how we can continue to provide these valuable and well-respected resources in an increasingly digital world.
“When people find out they have a cancer diagnosis they often go looking for information, so it’s important there are a range of resources they can turn to. Work is underway to produce more e-books, translations and we’re also looking into how we can provide audio-visual resources.
“Well-researched, easy-to-understand information is vital for people experiencing cancer and their whānau who play a big part in finding and digesting this information. It helps them understand the process of cancer treatment, supports decision making, talking to others, and managing side effects. Especially when ‘chemo brain’ or dealing with the emotional impact of cancer makes information hard to remember.
“Doctors and health professionals widely use and contribute to our information, along with people who have had cancer. We’ve worked hard to demystify medical terms and processes, talking in everyday language about the impact and management of the cancer journey.
“GPs are often involved at the start of a patient’s cancer journey and can help by signposting to these resources, helping them to understand what to expect before, during and after treatment.
“Patients can view our resources by heading to the website, through their local Cancer Society or by calling the 0800 226 237 phone line.”