in access and care

    Assistance cancer travel distance

    for better outcomes

    Can Assist Rural NSW cancer assistance

    to meet your needs

    Can Assist personalised support

    and supporting health professionals

    Can Assist Tamworth

About us – Why We Assist

Compared to those in metropolitan areas, rural cancer patients are diagnosed later, are more likely to die and seventeen times more likely to report geographical and financial barriers to care.

Distance matters – it creates inequitable access to best treatment options. No matter the distance, assistance is never far away. We Can Assist.

“I am not exaggerating to say that many of my patients would simply not be able to afford access to treatment was it not for the work of Can Assist.”

Allied Health Worker, Hunter New England LHD

Can Assist today


Operational since 1955, Can Assist (Cancer Patients Assistance Society of NSW) is a grass roots, not-for-profit organisation operating in 55 plus towns across country NSW. These branches are operated by close to 3,000 members who are all volunteers from their respective communities.

Can Assist is an essential service for country NSW cancer patients. After all other available support options are utilised, significant gaps remain. We typically raise and deliver in excess of $2million dollars annually, equating to more than 10,000 calls for assistance.

At the heart of all we do

Our Vision and Values

Our vision is for every country community, family and individual to have equitable access to cancer care and support services.

Our values of equity, integrity, community and hope are the building blocks of all our work.

Our Acknowledgment of Country acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, volunteer and work. We pay respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


Can Assist has been supporting country people with cancer since 1955. By providing accommodation, financial assistance and practical support to people from rural and regional areas, we ensure that country people are given the same opportunities and treatment choices as those who live in city centres.

“We have a lot of tears of relief from our clients when they hear we can help them. They are at a point of despair and Can Assist is a ray of sunshine in an often bleak time.” Janice, Can Assist – Manning Valley

$ 2.4 million

in Assistance over the last financial year


of the money raised in local communities stays to assist that community


267 volunteers to every 1 staff member

A committed voice advocating grass roots knowledge for NSW rural cancer needs

Can Assist Armidale Fiona Kelly

Fiona was in considerable financial stress after her diagnosis

A series of 1000km return trips for chemotherapy and radiotherapy, unanticipated medical out-of-pockets, accommodation costs in Brisbane, all whilst paying rent in Moree left 34yr old primary school teacher Fiona in considerable financial stress after her cancer diagnosis. With no accrued leave, Fiona worked as much as possible throughout her treatment: “the kids at school just accepted my baldness…. money was my greatest challenge and that’s where Can Assist Armidale helped me”. After my recovery, I founded the branch in Moree, which to this day delivers financial assistance to dozens of local residents.

It is a wonderful community and a remarkable organisation.

Can Assist Armidale