Friday update 22 October 2021

Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 901
edited December 2021 in Community news and events

Friday update 22 October 2021

Hello members,

It is a nice welcome today for Victorians as the lockdown
restrictions lift today - Enjoy your greater freedoms!

BCNA continue their October breast cancer awareness campaign, highlighting
issues that impact those diagnosed and advocate to drive change. Thankyou to
all of our members who have shared their stories, resources and support.

Community highlights

Reminder Private Groups

Given that in October we have had ‘Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day’
and ‘Men’s Breast Cancer Awareness Day’, I wanted to remind members of the
Online Network’s private groups if you are seeking greater peer-to-peer support:

with metastatic breast cancer

living with breast cancer


forum discussions

Members new and old may have missed some of the forum discussions that
have received the most comments:

1. Friday Funnies These
funny posts are welcome any day really – bringing something light hearted to
the forum

 credit @ChezaH

booster shots

3. Night
Howlers - Jump on to chat if you are awake

4. Has
anyone taken 'Before' and 'After' pics?


Community News

BCNA NEWS 13 Oct 2021 -  When an Employee Needs Leave for Cancer

‘Don’t come back’ were the words Liz
Tapping heard when she asked if she could take leave from her job to receive
treatment for breast cancer. Her employer of 5 years sacked her on the spot. A
recent ruling in the Federal Circuit Court found this action contravened the
Fair Work Act.

CLICK HERE to read full details of Liz’s story and also
access BCNA resources to educate and
support employees

Cancer Australia  - The Impact of COVID-19 on cancer-related
medical services and procedures in Australia in 2020

Cancer Australia today
released a new report, The
impact of COVID-19 on cancer-related medical services and procedures in
Australia in 2020: Examination of MBS claims data for 2020, nationally and by
, which
shows an overall sustained reduction in cancer services in 2020. BCNA has also been working with Cancer Australia, providing consumer insight and feedback into the development of communications about the COVID-19 vaccine roll out and the impact on those with a diagnosis of breast cancer. You can find frequently asked questions in BCNA’s My Journey  and on the Cancer Australia website. If you have any information that you’d like to share about how COVID-19 has been impacting your patients, please email the Policy Team on  


“Don’t Delay and just hope it’ll go away.” – Male
Breast Cancer Awareness

Perth Channel
 news featured Pieter and highlighted Male Breast Cancer
Awareness Day in a fantastic segment.

Pieter's full story is available to watch
on our IGTV on Instagram.

Head over to to
view his story and more.


“There is also a lot of misunderstanding about metastatic breast cancer
and what this means in
terms of your treatment and
survival.” – Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness

Mother-of-three Andrea Smith knows
she will lose her life to an incurable form of breast cancer. But she is determined to help other sufferers while she can.
Read Andrea’s story CLICK HERE


The Pink Bra Project

This breast cancer awareness month show
your support for those affected by breast cancer and the people around them.
$10 from every Pink Bra sale from Berlei's
Pink Bra collection will go to BCNA. Hear BCNA member’s stories and ambassadors
Stuart Diver, Aunty Pam, Raeleen Boyle and Sophie Conway


Webcasts and conferences you may have missed

Breast Reconstruction
Options and Expectations
The virtual conference recording is now
available to view on demand. Frequently asked/mentioned topics of the
three-hour event were:

Access to

Should you
have radiation before or after an implant

The impact of
COVID-19 on wait times

Breast implant

Breast cancer
recurrence after a reconstruction

around the option of not having a reconstruction

Metastatic Breast Cancer -Thriving together- Living Longer, Living
virtual conference recording is now available to view on demand. Frequently
asked/mentioned topics of the three-hour event were:

How to manage resistance treatment with
hormone blocking therapies

Immunotherapies and triple negative
breast cancer

How to reduce the risk of fractures from
bone metastasises

New drugs that enhance the action of
chemotherapy in the cell

Uncertainty and fear of what might happen
in the future

Support groups are a really important way
to connect with others and reduce feelings isolation 


Upfront About Breast Cancer Podcast

Have you checked out our new 10-part podcast series, Upfront About Breast
Cancer - What You Don’t Know Until You Do, with Dr Charlotte Tottman?

Each episode explores Charlotte’s lived
experience, provides explanations of psychological triggers and responses and
practical strategies that may help you or someone you know on their breast
cancer journey. All episodes are available to stream now across all podcast

To listen visit


BCNA Member Support Team & Online Network Moderators - Introductions

This week I am pleased to introduce you to Anna Wilson from our Member Support Team:

Anna joined BCNA In
2012, after a friend told her there was a position available on the helpline.
Originally a primary teacher and with three young kids, she decided to take a
leap and move into this space. While Anna knew little about BCNA’s role, from
the moment she started her role she loved it!  Anna felt like she could really make a
difference being part of the organisation and found many ways to contribute both
on the helpline and then in the fundraising and the sponsorship team.

Anna loves to hear
the stories of the people who call the helpline and see how BCNA can really
make a difference. She loves her colleagues at BCNA and enjoys collaborating
with them each day “They are all so professional, knowledgeable and they care
deeply for all those women, men and their families who are experiencing breast

Outside of work, Anna loves
gardening and especially loves spring. Her two helpers Maggie and Billy are
never far away!

Books / Movies/ TV Series/ Documentaries

Have you seen the My Journey article about ‘The Library’?

The Library
provides names of some books you might find helpful or interesting to read.

Books in the
'about breast cancer and DCIS' and 'live well' sections have been reviewed by
BCNA staff and are recommended as reliable information. Personal stories have
not always been reviewed by BCNA, but may have been recommended to us by others
diagnosed with breast cancer or sent to us by the author (often a BCNA member).

If there is a
book you would like to suggest for this list, please email us at or
post here in the discussion and I will pass on.

Hope you enjoy this update and I always welcome feedback. In the meantime, if you have any concerns while online, please contact one of the moderators -

@Jenny_BCNA @Carissa_BCNA @Anna_BCNA @Pat_BCNA @MichelleP_BCNA @Mez_BCNA

If you need to speak with someone regarding your concern, please call 1800 500 258 alternatively, you can email (We will be back on deck Monday).

Take care,

The mod team – Mez, Carissa, Jenny, Anna, Pat & Michelle

"Awareness is all about restoring your freedom to choose what you want instead of what your past imposes on you" - Deepak Chopra


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    The link to Liz Tapping’s story may not be working as I can’t open it. Many thanks 
  • Mez_BCNA
    Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 901
    edited October 2021
    Oh thanks @Afraser :) I May need to hire you as my proofreader. Hopefully fixed now
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    Many thanks, all good - the link I mean, not the story. It’s appalling. I ended up taking practically no time off, but not because I had to face that sort of behaviour. My boss at the time could not have been more supportive. 
  • arpie
    arpie Member Posts: 7,667
    edited October 2021
    Here you go .... another 'look at it' from a different news source too (from before the judgement) .... pretty shocking in this day & age!! So sorry to read she now has Mets too  :(
  • Mez_BCNA
    Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 901
    Unfortunately we have heard similar stories through the member support helpline calls @Afraser @arpie. The Policy & Advocacy team hope that Liz's story and others like hers will encourage employers to access the right information to support their employees with breast cancer.  If you are interested, you can also listen to Liz on the ABC radio
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,388
    I spent some time a few years ago providing information to a woman who was being bullied into resigning from her job (public service, but not in my area). She had metastatic breast cancer, had two medical certificates that she was definitely able to work, at her job, desperately wanted to work (for financial and self esteem reasons) and was being pushed around by a younger, male manager who ‘just didn’t like the idea’. I sent her a lot of BCNA material and finally she got some support from her Union, but it was pretty horrible. 
  • Kristen
    Kristen Member Posts: 118
    Lymphoedema Support Group of NSW
    information days have been invaluable information for me since I went to
    my first one in 2015 (I think that was my first,I been to a few )
    After being diagnosed with secondary arm lymphoedema since 2010 due to
    breast cancer /masectomy/lymph node dissection in 2007.
    about what it is and why its important to keep the swelling down helps
    motivate me to stay on top of it,but it has taken many years to learn
    tips, tricks, methods, products etc fill my 'toolbox' of knowledge to
    be able keep the swelling down.Its a daily challenge and different
    things work for different people,so it's not simple to treat and manage.
    Could not do that without lots of information.

    It really 'gets
    my goat' when I meet people with large limbs who weren't diagnosed
    early,and who often are then told nothing about how and why to look
    after this chronic condition.Even many mainstream specialists and GPs
    and physio are not always aware of the new methods of treatments.I have
    meet people who been told nothing they can do about it ! SO WRONG!!!!!
    breaks my heart to meet and see people become physically
    impaired,mobility challenged,depressed,getting dangerous infections and
    financial challenged due to excessive lymphoedema swelling from poor
    information and support.
    Fellow lymphies spread the word.We have to
    encourage each other to keep being proactive in learning how to monitor
    and manage our swelling.No matter what the cause of the lymphoedmea,or
    the part of our body that is effected.

    This conference will be
    great for anyone who has lymphoedema and now it's virtual this year,
    anyone can attend from the comfort of home.

    FYI. It is a live virtual event,and a recording will not be made available for viewing after the event.

    Sat 6th Nov 2021 9.45-2pm
    Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT)
    Short breaks ,including a 30 min lunch break have been scheduled.
    Program may be subject to change without notice.

    the Lymphoedema Support Group of NSW webpage,their Facebook page and
    the Eventbrite page for more information and to book tickets.