Using Disclaimers with Clients

This document has been provided to the ICISG by the Cancer Information and Support Service of the Cancer Council Victoria, Australia to serve as an example of a disclaimer statement that might be written by a CIS for use with their clients. All of the information below reflects the particular processes of Cancer Council Victoria, and other organizations are free to adapt or modify it to better reflect their own cultural or organizational needs. 

Using Disclaimer Statements with CIS Clients

A verbal or written disclaimer will be given to notify clients of the context and limitations of the information provided by the Cancer Information and Support Service (CISS).

Disclaimers will always be given to clients when providing information verbally or in writing about cancer, community services or resource materials.

General and/or specific verbal disclaimers are to be provided as soon as is appropriate
during a call or visit.

Use disclaimers when providing cancer related information about:

  • General cancer information
  • Prevention/risk factors
  • Diagnosis
  • Screening
  • Treatment
  • Clinical Trials
  • Prognosis
  • Unproven remedies
  • Community Services
  • Information contained in Journal Articles and Websites
  • The Healthcare System in Australia

Provide verbal disclaimers in a manner that does not affect your credibility or
the credibility of the information source.

NB: Check the disclaimer box on the ’CASE’ page of CRM when a verbal disclaimer has
been given.

Verbal Disclaimers

Please use your own words to deliver the following disclaimers:

General Cancer Information: The information provided by the Cancer Information and Support Service (CISS) is general in nature. It is the most current information that we have available at this time. This information is not intended to replace consultation with your doctor or healthcare team. Their advice should be obtained before making a medical decision.

Prevention/Risk Factors: CISS can provide general information about healthy lifestyles and trends identified in the medical literature regarding the prevention of cancer. Adopting healthy habits or avoiding known carcinogens may reduce the risk of developing cancer but there is no guarantee that cancer will be prevented. Consultation with your doctor is advised if you are concerned or would like to know more about individual screening and prevention.

Diagnosis: CISS can provide general information about the signs and symptoms of particular cancers and the tests that may be used to diagnose them. Only your treating doctor can make a diagnosis of cancer.

Screening: CISS can provide general information about screening guidelines. Only your doctor can advise you about appropriate screening procedures and frequency.

Treatment: CISS can provide general information about different treatment options for a particular cancer. Only your doctor and healthcare team can advise you about the best treatment for you as an individual.

Clinical Trials: CISS can provide general information about clinical trials. Your doctor is the most appropriate person to discuss this with, to determine your eligibility and to discuss if a trial is a suitable option as part of your diagnosis and treatment.

Prognosis: CISS can provide general information about factors that may affect your prognosis. Your doctor is the most appropriate person to speak with about your individual situation and prognosis.

Unproven Remedies: There is insufficient scientific evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of alternative therapies. CISS understands that you want to explore all treatment options available to you, so it is important that any therapy be discussed with your treating doctor so they can advise on what is best for your individual situation. Cancer Council Victoria supports the use of evidence based, proven therapies in the treatment and management of cancer.

Community Services: CISS distributes information on community services that may be useful to clients. CISS does not evaluate the quality of the services and therefore does not recommend or endorse one service over another. We will provide several options where possible and suggest that you contact the individual services or organisations directly to determine which is best suited to your needs. Alternatively, they may be discussed with a member of your treating team.

Journal Articles and Textbooks: To assist you with your information request, we may consult resources such as professional journals and selected internet sites. The opinions contained in these sources are those of the author(s) or editor(s).

Websites: CISS selects a list of internet sites for general and specific cancer information or other related topics to assist clients who are seeking information and support. CISS selects websites that maintain current and evidence based information, however it is not responsible for the completeness of the information posted. For this reason, CISS cannot suggest or endorse any website that is not contained on our approved list.

Referrals to Cancer Centres or Hospitals: CISS cannot suggest or promote individual cancer specialists. However, we can suggest the names of cancer centres or hospitals where you can enquire. We may also be able to suggest peak bodies or websites that provide lists of specialists who are accredited in certain fields.

Healthcare System: CISS can provide general information about our healthcare system in Australia. If you require more detailed information or would like to express your views, we can refer you to the appropriate organisation.


This page is also available as a downloadable pdf file