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Unit outline_

HSBH5007: Living with Cancer

Semester 1, 2023 [Online] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Cancer is a highly prevalent health issue in the community and survival rates are increasing for many cancers. Because of its impact, cancer is also a national health priority and is a key research area at the University. This unit of study will introduce students to a range of issues and topics related to the entire cancer trajectory including prevention, detection, diagnosis, interventions, rehabilitation, survivorship and palliative care. Topics to be covered will include an overview of the pathophysiology of cancer and the medical management of this condition, detection of cancer (imaging), effective rehabilitation interventions and roles of health professionals, long term survivorship issues, communication strategies for people living with cancer and their families, and an overview of services available to support people living with cancer. for the cancer community, including the patient. Key issues that will be addressed include person-centred care informed by current evidence.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Health Sciences
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge

Fieldwork experience, anatomy and physiology

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Lynette Mackenzie,
Lecturer(s) Lynette Mackenzie,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment hurdle task Personal investigation
Case study and written task See detailed unit of study guide on Canvas
Due date: 04 Jun 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 04 Jun 2023
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Online task hurdle task Contribution to discussion tasks A
Forum post and participation. See detailed unit of study guide on Canvas
10% Week 07
Due date: 06 Apr 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 06 Apr 2023
75-250 words per task
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment hurdle task Workbook
Written task See detailed unit of study guide on Canvas
40% Week 12
Due date: 21 May 2023 at 23:59

Closing date: 21 May 2023
2500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Online task Contribution to discussion tasks B
Forum post and participation See detailed unit of study guide on Canvas
10% Week 13
Due date: 28 May 2023 at 23:59
75-250 words per task
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Assessment summary

  • Contribution to online discussion tasks – weeks 1-6 (A) and weeks 7-13 (B).
  • Workbook:  A workbook is provided on Canvas that includes a range of activities around case studies designed to consolidate individual student learning relating to each of the topics encountered in the online learning tasks. Students are asked to download this workbook and complete the tasks and reflections as indicated. You must complete all the assessment tasks to pass the entire unit. Failure to complete any assessment item will result in you being awarded a Fail grade, regardless of your cumulative marks in the unit of study. 
  • Personal investigation: Students are to identify a person they know who has had a diagnosis of cancer - either recently or in the past, or a carer of someone with cancer. They will interview this person about their cancer experience - either face to face or by telephone. The assignment should include a summary of the findings of the interview, information about the type of cancer and its typical presentation and treatment.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 What is cancer? Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 02 What is cancer? Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 The experience of cancer Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 The experience of cancer Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Week 05 Cancer symptoms: cognitive changes Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Cancer symptoms: cognitive changes Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Cancer symptoms: lymphoedema Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Cancer symptoms: lymphoedema Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Cancer symptoms: breathlessness/fatigue Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Cancer symptoms: breathlessness/fatigue Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Palliative care Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 12 Palliative care Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7
Week 13 Cancer services and models of care Online class (3 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: This is an online unit, therefore, students will have to be disciplined and organise their study to keep up with the unit content without a regular class timetable to make them accountable!! The best way to learn is together, so it is important that all participants in the unit keep up with the discussion topics and tasks, and engage in the material at the same time. Therefore, students will be expected to access Canvas and participate in online activities on time. Times have been suggested on the learning outline.
  • Required materials: Online/distance education units of study have the following computer requirements: desktop computer or laptop (not tablet), webcam and microphone (built-in or external), connection to network with sufficient internet speed (at least 3 Mbps download speed and 3 Mbps upload).

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe the management of commonly presenting cancers
  • LO2. demonstrate an understanding of the typical cancer journey from diagnosis, through treatment, through survivorship and to palliative care
  • LO3. demonstrate an understanding of the roles of health professionals involved in the cancer journey
  • LO4. identify key issues and challenges for cancer survivors and their carers
  • LO5. compare, contrast and use outcome measures that are relevant for cancer survivors
  • LO6. critically appraise and apply evidence about different rehabilitation interventions for people living with cancer
  • LO7. plan rehabilitation interventions that are person-centred, goal-directed and evidence-based.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Previous students have commented that they did not get sufficient feedback for their online discussion tasks. So I have split the marks up into two halves (A & B) each worth 10% so formative marks can be given, and scheduled regular zoom sessions.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.