Read about living well with pancreatic cancer, including finding body positivity, making lifestyle changes and accessing support in your community.

Download the whole pancreatic cancer booklet

Our new booklet 'Understanding pancreatic cancer' is available now.

Understanding Pancreatic Cancer booklet 2022
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Download Section Seven of our pancreatic cancer booklet: Living well with pancreatic cancer

  • Finding ways to focus positively on your body — such as by eating well, starting a new exercise programme like yoga, and making positive lifestyle changes — can help you live well with pancreatic cancer.
  • Keeping active will help you to maintain a healthy weight and can reduce stress and tiredness. It will also help to keep your bones strong and your heart healthy.
  • If you are unable to work for a period of time because of the effects of
    pancreatic cancer, you and/or your carer may be entitled to receive
    income support from the Ministry of Social Development — Work and
    Income.
  • It is also a good idea to check your personal insurance policies, as you
    may qualify for an early payment. Speak to your insurance agent to find
    out if you are covered.
  • A counsellor can help you to talk about your thoughts and feelings after a
    diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
  • Hospitals throughout Aotearoa New Zealand have trained health workers
    available to support your spiritual, cultural, and advocacy needs.
  • Talk to your GP or whānau doctor, or contact your local Cancer Society,
    about the support services available for you and your whānau.

  • Mā te rapu huarahi ki te arotau pai ki tō tinana – pērā ki te kai tika, te
    whai hōtaka korikori hou pērā ki te yoga, me te mahi panoni ki tō āhua
    noho – e āwhina i a koe ki te noho ora me te matepukupuku repetaiaki
    huka.
  • Mā te noho kakama tonu e āwhina i a koe ki te mau tonu ki tō taumaha,
    me tana whakaiti ake i te ahotea me te hiamoe. Ka āwhina hoki kia noho
    kaha tonu o kōiwi, kia pakari hoki tō manawa.
  • Mehemea kīhai koe e kaha ki te mahi mō tētahi wā, nā runga i nga
    papātanga o te matepukupuku repetaiaki huka, ka āhei koe me tō
    kaitiaki hoki, ki te whiwhi tautoko mai i te Manatū Whakahiato Ora – Te
    Hiranga Tamariki.
  • He whakaaro pai ki te arowhai i ō kaupapa inihua whaiaro, i te mea tērā
    pea ka āhei koe ki ētahi utu moata. Kōrero ki tō māngai inihua ki te rapu
    mehemea kai te pai tō inihua.
  • Tērā pea ka āwhina tētahi Kaitautāwhi i a koe ki te kōrero mō ōu
    whakaaro, ōu kare-ā-roto whai muri i tētahi whakatau mate mō te
    matepukupuku repetaiaki huka.
  • Kai ngā hōhipera huri noa i te motu ngā kaimahi hauora kua
    whakangungutia, hei tautoko i ōu hiahia ā-wairua, ā-ahurei, me ōu
    hiahiatanga whaitaua.
  • Kōrero ki tō GP, ki tō rata whānau rānei, me whakapā atu rānei ki ngā
    ratonga tautoko e wātea ana ki a koe me tō whānau.
Section 7 Living well

Adjusting to change

Finding ways to focus positively on your body — such as by eating well, starting a new exercise programme like yoga, and making positive lifestyle changes — can help you live well with pancreatic cancer.

Keeping active will help you to maintain a healthy weight and can reduce stress and tiredness. It will also help to keep your bones strong and your heart healthy.Find out more about living well with pancreatic cancer

Finding support

For some people, meeting others in a similar situation can help decrease feelings of anxiety, isolation or fear.

Support groups offer you the opportunity to share your experiences and learn different ways of dealing with problems.

Counselling

A counsellor can help you to talk about your thoughts and feelings after a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Counselling can be very useful to help you and your whānau understand feelings and develop coping strategies.

You can phone the Cancer Information Helpline (0800 CANCER 226 237) for information about support services in your area.

 Find out more about counselling

 

Cultural and spiritual support

Hospitals throughout Aotearoa New Zealand have trained health workers available to support your spiritual, cultural and advocacy needs.

They may include Māori and Pacific health workers who will work with you and your whānau. Hospital chaplains and community-based health workers are also available.

Find out more about cultural and spiritual support

How whānau can help

As a friend or whānau member of someone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, you are learning to cope with your own feelings and emotions.

You may want to help but not know what to do. Here are some suggestions that may be useful:

  • Learn about pancreatic cancer and its treatment. This will help you understand what the person you are supporting is coping with.
  • Be thoughtful about offering advice. Listening while they talk or just being there with them are good ways to show you care.
  • Talk about your feelings together and be honest about what worries you.
  • Offer to go to appointments with them. You can be there for support, to take notes or, when appropriate, to take part in the discussions.
  • Respect that your whānau member or friend may want to talk to their treatment team alone.

We also have an online tool — Support Crew — to help you coordinate offers of help such as meals, childcare and cleaning.

Find out more about supporting someone with cancer

Questions you may wish to ask

When you hear you have pancreatic cancer, you and your whānau may have many questions.

We have compiled a list of questions you may want to ask to help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

Let your doctor know if there are things you would prefer not to be told.

Find out more about questions you may wish to ask

Download the 'Questions you may wish to ask' booklet

Download the 'Questions you may wish to ask' information sheet

Last updated: September 22, 2022