Winning the battle and rebuilding resilience

Over the past 30 years1 improved medical treatment has seen post cancer survival rates in Australia rise to 68%2, and continue to grow.

But despite these developments, there remains a need to focus on supporting patients after they are discharged from care.

Many cancer survivors experience anxiety and fear relating to potential recurrence. They often struggle with ‘chemo fog’, cancer related fatigue, lymphedema, altered body image and significant grief. Returning to work is challenging, with approximately 38% of Australians never returning to work following cancer treatment .

Looking for a best practice approach to assist cancer survivors, Swiss Re teamed up with AIA Australia and National Rehabilitation Provider IPAR to bring together programs developed by each organisation; AIA’s RESTORE CaRe™ and IPAR’s Positivum™ health coaching. This combined program is designed to assist survivors to transition from the treatment phase of cancer back to wellness and work.

"Together we hope to provide assistance to customers with cancer to rebuild resilience and access the important health benefits associated with returning to 'good' work," said Mark Senkevics, Managing Director of Australia & New Zealand.

The RESTORE CaRe™ Positivum™ program is currently being piloted in Australia with REST Industry Super Fund, and with the support of Cancer Council New South Wales and Cancer Council Victoria. Early feedback is positive with 100% of REST members offered the program now participating.

The stepped care program builds on our experience in delivering a cancer rehabilitation service in the UK and bringing this to life in Australia.

3 Bradley, C. J. and H. L. Bednarek (2002) “Employment patterns of long-term cancer survivors.” Psycho-Oncology 11(3). Carter, O.