Cancer Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis can turn your world upside down. A thousand questions demand attention and all kinds of decisions need to be made at a time when both psychological and emotional equilibrium are upset.

The most commonly diagnosed cancers in Australia are breast cancerprostate cancerBasal cell cancerMelanomaColon cancerLung cancerLeukemia, and Lymphoma.

When someone is diagnosed with cancer it impacts everyone who loves them. While some people decide not to share their diagnosis with anyone, others will immediately reach out for support and understanding. People can react very differently. There’s no right or wrong way to respond.

Journey of self-discovery

The ‘gift’ of cancer can be a journey of self-discovery, self-healing and self-accomplishment. In this way, regardless of the outcome of the illness, the destination can become a sense of deep and profound peace. To achieve this peace is a victory beyond words.

The best way to face a cancer diagnosis is with good emotional support and information that de-mystifies the strange and fearful world of cancer. Armed with the information it becomes possible to proceed with a sense of calmness to help deal emotionally with the journey ahead and the many questions, choices and decisions.

Discussing all aspects of the disease and treatment with doctors and specialists is encouraged.

What is cancer?

  • Cancer is a disease of the body’s cells.
  • Cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in an uncontrolled way, invading healthy tissue.
  • Cancers normally start in a particular organ of the body – the primary site or primary organ.
  • There are over 200 types of cancers.
  • The most common types of cancer in Australia are breast cancer, prostate cancer, Basal cell cancer, Melanoma, Colon cancer, Lung cancer, Leukemia and Lymphoma.

Cancer symptoms

Symptoms and signs depend on the specific type and grade of cancer. General signs and symptoms are wide-ranging, however, the following can be found in patients with different cancers: fatigue, weight loss, pain, skin changes, change in bowel or bladder function, unusual bleeding, persistent cough or voice change, fever, lumps, or tissue masses.

There are many tests to screen and diagnose cancer. The definitive diagnosis is normally made by examination of a biopsy sample of suspected cancer tissue.

Cancer treatment

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for cancer. Treatment options include chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of these. It can take time to discover the best treatment for each person, so it’s best to work closely with your (holistic) GP or other trusted and qualified health professional to find what works for you.

In addition, what were once thought of as ‘alternative’ or ‘complementary’ treatments are now widely acknowledged as being integral to a person’s healing regimen. When we actively engage in a fulfilling life and take care of ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, we create the ideal physiology in which our health can be maintained or regained.

Factors that contribute to a positive healing outcome

Many factors contribute to a positive healing outcome for people with cancer. These factors can help you begin or continue your journey of recovery:

  • Addressing the physical as well as the emotional distress, isolation and frustration that may accompany a chronic illness
  • Improving nutrition, exercise and sleep levels along with other healthy lifestyle practices
  • Guidance in managing the emotional rollercoaster of exhaustion, frustration and isolation
  • Meditation and living mindfully can stimulate your immune system to function optimally
  • Rest and patience are two essential components of recovery

Over the past 35 years, Quest for Life has worked with tens of thousands of people living with the impact that cancer has on their lives and who are looking to actively contribute to their own healing. We have found the greatest antidote to cancer is to be fully engaged in living the life you came here to live.

Immediate help

  • Speak with your GP or other trusted and qualified health professional
  • For crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • Cancer Council

Online courses: Befriending Anxiety, Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep

Our Self-Paced On-Demand Online CoursesBefriending Anxiety; Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep – are delivered over 4 video modules and provide practical, positive and easy-to-follow guidance and advice. They encourage and help you to identify and implement strategies to build your resilience, and to incorporate these into your own personal plan for each course.

Befriending Anxiety, Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep courses cost $99 each (or $250 for all 3) and include:

  • 4 self-paced Video Modules
  • Integrated workbook with reflective questions
  • Personal Plan template and guide
  • Additional resources – research and links
  • Downloadable meditation MP3s

How Quest for Life can help

While medical teams focus on eradicating disease, Quest for Life’s focus is on empowering people to heal. Quest can help through our residential programs, online courses, and workplace workshops.

  • Our 5-day residential Quest for Life program. This program provides a recipe for peace and healing, no matter your circumstance or challenge. You’ll be nourished, educated and supported to adopt a healthy lifestyle to create an environment for profound healing.
  • Our Self-Paced Online CoursesBefriending Anxiety; Beyond Burnout and Healing Sleep – provide practical, positive and easy-to-follow guidance and advice. They encourage and help you to identify and implement strategies to build your resilience and to incorporate these into your own personal plan for each course.
  • Our Workplace Health & Wellbeing Program delivers research-based holistic health and wellbeing approaches that equip staff and managers with tools required to operate in today’s dynamic and stressful environment.

Quest for Life knows how to help: our research results show that participants experience a 28% increase in quantified mental wellbeing after attending a program and that this improvement increases over time.

Chemical-free environment

At Quest, we recognise that many people being treated for cancer may have chemical sensitivities. No chemicals are used in the grounds or buildings at Quest to ensure a safe and healthy environment for people with life-threatening illnesses.


Some of these practices can help you to calm your mind, improve your wellbeing and can be found on our Toolkit page:

  • Keys to improve the quality of your sleep
  • Meditation practices
  • What to do when someone you love has cancer

Petrea King Podcasts may be helpful:

  • Tony Delroy Nightlife – Beyond Chronic Pain
  • Dealing with a difficult diagnosis
  • Relax better and reduce stress using mindfulness
  • Eating well in times of stress
  • Talking Lifestyle Radio: Petrea’s life and Quest’s approach to healing

Wellbeing Resources

Petrea King Books including:

  • Quest for Life – a Handbook for People with Cancer and Life-Threatening Illnesses
  • Sometimes Hearts Have to Break
  • Spirited Women – Journeys with Breast Cancer
  • Your Life Matters – The Power of Living Now
  • Food for Life

Meditations including

  • Be Calm, Sleep, and Learning to Meditate

Related Articles

If you are living with cancer, fill in the Contact Form below and one of our Program Advisors will be in touch to answer your questions or to ascertain the most appropriate program for your needs.

“This was exactly what I needed – exactly when I needed it. Leaving feeling renewed, refreshed, with greater hope, confidence and excitement for the future with wonderful and practical tools.”

– Tim

Funding Options for Residential Programs


Quest subsidises all privately or self-funded places to ensure the cost of our programs remains affordable to individuals. This allows us to reduce the fee from $4,400 to $2,800.

$2,200 Shared room (Early bird* $2,100 – must be paid 30 days in advance)
$2,800 Single room (Early bird* $2,700 – must be paid 30 days in advance)

Fees effective 1 July 2023.

Subsidies and Financial Help

Through generous grants, donations and fundraising, additional subsidies and financial help is available for a range of circumstances and anyone experiencing financial stress will be considered. We review each case individually and we do not means test. All applications are conducted via phone with a friendly member of the Programs intake team.


Quest is a registered NDIS Provider. Residential Programs can be funded through plan-managed and self-managed NDIS plans.


We work with Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) White Card or Gold Card holders to make applications to the DVA Health Approvals Board.

Worker’s Comp Insurance

Residential programs can be covered by workers compensation insurance on a case-by-case basis.

Call our Programs Advisers Today
1300 941 488