Friday Update 12th October 2023

Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 921
edited November 2023 in Community news and events

Greetings everyone,

Welcome to the Thursday 'Friday Update'. We are into the swing of Breast Cancer Awareness Month here at Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and I will share several of the highlights we mention throughout the month of October. This month can bring different thoughts, feelings and reflections for many of you; please connect with the people in your life who support you (including the Online Network community). You can always reach out to the BCNA Helpline 1800 500 258.

Check out our CEO Kirsten Pilatti's message about the significance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

Community Highlights

September 2023 Activity

During the month of September the Online Network had 68 new discussions; 430 comments and 17,832 visits to the community. 

Popular Forum Discussions 

If you have missed some of the most active discussions in September, you can check them out via the links below:

Posts by 'Category Name' September 2023

Featured Private Group 'Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Breast Cancer'

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Breast Cancer This private group was set up to connect people with Autism and a diagnosis of breast cancer. Feedback from members, is that often the additional challenges faced by someone with ASD while navigating a breast cancer diagnosis, are not always understood by all. This space will hopefully allow you to connect, support and share your experiences with others going through a similar journey.

Community News

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month provides the opportunity for us to draw attention to the ongoing impact of breast cancer on those diagnosed and their supporters.  

In our 25th year, BCNA continues to connect you with the information, resources, and support you need whether you are someone diagnosed, a family member, support person, or a health professional providing care.   

'Living well, your way'

A diagnosis of breast cancer looks different for everyone, and there is no one way to ‘live well’ during or following a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Breast cancer affects people long after active treatment has finished. For some people, including those living with metastatic breast cancer, treatment never finishes. There are often long-term impacts of a breast cancer diagnosis. These impacts could be physical, psychosocial, or financial. It is likely that you will require different types of support at different times after your initial diagnosis of breast cancer.

Living well, your way aligns to the third year of BCNA’s Policy and Advocacy Strategy, you can read more about how we use this strategy to advocate on behalf of our network here.

Throughout Breast Cancer Awareness Month, keep an eye on our website or social media as we share resources and stories that can support you or someone you care for to live well.

SWIISH WALK4BCNA  - This Weekend!

We invite you to this inaugural event proudly supporting Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). The SWIISH WALK4BCNA will see registrants participate in a 4km or 8km walk around Metcalfe Park, Sydney followed by a family friendly festival.

The festival will include food vendors, health and fitness retailers, SWIISH and BCNA merchandise, children’s activities, yoga, massage and other wellness activations including a chill out zone.  BCNA’s signature Mini-Field of Women area will be a space where participants can pay tribute to those affected by breast cancer.   

We are excited to partner with SWIISH to bring you this fantastic event!

 Register now (Virtual walk option available)

International Flat Closure Day - 7th October 2023

Staying flat and feeling stronger for it

On Flat Closure Awareness Day read Grace’s story about her decision to not have a breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.

Going flat is also called aesthetic flat closure (AFC). It involves chest wall reconstruction to create a smooth appearance with no extra skin left behind following a mastectomy for breast cancer.

Aesthetic flat closure is an important option that should be discussed ahead of a mastectomy. It is important to have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

“This decision needs to be about you – not anyone else. Remaining flat has had a positive effect on my mental health. I feel so much stronger, confident, and courageous”, says Grace.

Read more of Grace’s story in the October edition of The Beacon:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day- 13th October 2023

In the lead up to Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on 13 October, we recognise the work of Dr Sophie Lewis and her colleagues.
Published in the journal Sociology of Health & Illness, Dr Lewis’ recent article explores some of the challenges those living with metastatic breast cancer may experience regarding social isolation.
The article, which draws on interviews with 38 Australian women, highlights the importance of focusing policy and research attention on identifying new ways of supporting women with metastatic breast cancer, and those around them, to negotiate flexible social bonds, ensuring women feel secure and connected.
Read the article, which supports our theme for Breast Cancer Awareness Month - Living Well, Your Way - here:

Breast Cancer Trials Online Q&A: Triple Negative Breast Cancer - 24th October 2023
Breast Cancer Trials will be holding an online Q&A where you will hear from women with a history of triple negative breast cancer and from world-leading researchers on the latest in research and clinical trials to improve treatments and patient outcomes. Read more via the link  Click here to visit the event website

BCNA Forums/Webcasts

Mission Beach Forum

We are holding an Information Forum in Mission Beach on Tuesday 24 October, 9.00am - 3.00pm. This will be our last in-person Information Forum for 2023.

During the event, you will hear from - 
  • Those with a lived experience of breast cancer
  • Medical Oncologist, Dr Michelle White
  • Clinical Psychologist, Chloe Oliver
  • Sexual Health Physician, Dr Tonia Mezzini 
  • Exercise Physiologist, Jody Spicer
  • Physiotherapist, Maebh Coleman
  • Deirdre Maunsell, Breast Care Nurse
We will cover current and emerging treatments, sexual health, strategies to enhance physical and emotional wellbeing and share local services and support with  more speakers and topics to be announced shortly. You will have the opportunity to ask questions and meet others in your local community.

You can register to attend in person or online. To register please click here.

Books/Movies/TV Series/Documentaries

Have you checked out our new website recently? 

We would encourage you to check it out! Our new Information & Resources Hub allows you to easily search and filter the new website for the content you need. 

Hope you enjoyed the update. Please take care and if you have any questions or feedback please messaged of our Online Network moderators below:

@Pat_BCNA @Mez_BCNA , @Risha_BCNA, @Denise_BCNA, @Daina-BCNA , @Georgie_BCNA

If you wish to speak with the Helpline team regarding your concern, please call 1800 500 258 Mon-Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm (AEST), alternatively you can email 
The mod team - Mez, Daina, Pat, Denise and Risha

"Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much" - Helen Keller