Friday Update 3rd November 2023

Daina-BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 35
edited November 2023 in Community news and events
Warm greetings and welcome to November! I’m jumping in for @Mez_BCNA for this week’s update and we hope you are enjoying the community support that the online network provides, along with the knowledge sharing and connections. 

As we close off on October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we wanted to share some highlights and also a brief message from our CEO Kirsten Pilatti.

Grab a cupper ☕ – and we hope you enjoy the update!

Community Highlights

October Activity

In October the Online Network had 98 new discussions; 705 new comments and 17,450 visits to the community.

Popular Discussions 

In case you missed them, here are some of the most active discussions this month:

Lobular breast cancer just diagnosed
Newly diagnosed
Lobular breast cancer
Suffering stopping hormone treatment for Menopause
New member

Posts by 'Category Name' October

Community News

Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (18 October) 

Kate was told if she was prepared to wait six months, she could have a double mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time in Brisbane. After weighing up her options and receiving advice that it was safe to wait, Kate opted to have the surgeries done at the same time. But when her appointment finally arrived, Kate was told they could only perform the double mastectomy.

“That was the biggest shock of all. I think all the tensions and frustrations had really built up by that stage. It was hard.”

18 October was Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, where BCNA continues to call for greater transparency of wait times for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy. Kate went on to wait 10 years for breast reconstruction, which is an unacceptably long wait. At BCNA we continue to hear stories of long wait times for surgery and seek to work with health services to improve communication and transparency.

- Read Kate’s story in the October edition of The Beacon

- Find out more about our breast reconstruction advocacy in our Breast Reconstruction 2021 report

Male Breast Cancer Awareness Day (20 October) 

Breast cancer is not only a healthcare concern for women. Men get breast cancer too.

Paul was diagnosed with breast cancer at 39. People are often surprised when he says he has breast cancer. 

“If you solely use the word ‘women’ to describe breast cancer, you’re mostly correct. But you’re still incorrect. Let’s just get it right from the outset that ‘people’ have breast cancer.

"I’d like other men to be comfortable to share their diagnosis and seek out any support they need. I don’t want men to feel ashamed about it."

October 20th marked Male Breast Cancer Awareness Day, and we encourage you to read Paul’s story in the October edition of The Beacon (page 14).

Furthermore, Harry Brooks was a passionate advocate for men with breast cancer until he sadly passed this year and you can read his story here.

Find resources for men with breast cancer on our website.

Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA)

Consumer voice was central at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) 50th Annual Scientific Meeting in Melbourne this week when four of our trained Consumer Representatives (CRs) contributed as panellists and co-chairs on discussions about cancer care, treatment and support.

Meaningful partnerships between lived experience and research is vital to improving cancer outcomes.

Thank you to CRs Naveena Nekkalapudi, Jodie Lydeker, Victoria Gurvich and Dr Andrea Smith for being a voice for all those affected by breast cancer at COSA.

Read more about the power of BCNA consumer voice at COSA here.

BCNA LGBTIQ+ Women's Health Conference

LGBTIQ+ people with breast cancer experience higher rates of cancer related distress, lower levels of family support, inadequate information from health professionals and lower satisfaction with cancer care, BCNA Policy & Advocacy Officer Julie Rae told a conference last week.

Julie also told attendees at the LGBTIQ+ Women’s Health Conference in Melbourne that BCNA has specialised resources for LGBTIQ+ people with breast cancer.

BCNA led a panel of representatives from The McGrath Foundation, BreastScreen Victoria and Western Sydney University at the conference organised by Thorne Harbour Health and ACON.

Living Well, Your Way was our theme for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and finding the support and resources that is right for just you can help you live well your way.

You can find breast cancer resources for the LGBTIQ+ community on our website

'I'm not going to be cured' How breast cancer awareness and support sidelines people with metastatic disease

There have been incredible advances in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in recent years. And stories about celebrities who have “beaten” breast cancer continue to be a source of inspiration for many people.

However, this emphasis on fighting, beating and surviving cancer shuts out the voices of those who will not survive. 

- Read the article by BCNA CR Andrea Smith and researchers from the University of Sydney

Webcasts/Information Forums

Our Mission Beach Information Forum was held last week in sunny QLD, where we heard about current and emerging treatments, sexual health, strategies to enhance physical and emotional wellbeing. It was also a fantastic opportunity to connect. If you attended or were with us online, it would be great to hear from you.

Each presentation was recorded and will (along with the Coffs Harbor Information Forum) be available in the coming weeks. 

Visit BCNA's YouTube channel to view past Information Forums


Books / Movies / TV Series / Documentaries

5 ways to Cope with a Cancer Diagnosis

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and clinical psychologist Dr Charlotte Tottman have joined forces on this article to help those affected by breast cancer to live well, their way.

- Read 5 Ways to Cope with a Cancer Diagnosis article on the Prevention Australia website

We hope you have enjoyed this update, please take care and if you have any feedback, please feel free to comment below or send a private message to:

@Pat_BCNA @Mez_BCNA , @Risha_BCNA@Denise_BCNA@Daina-BCNA , @Georgie_BCNA
Or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 Mon-Fri 9:00am - 5:00pm (AEDT) or email
The mod team - Mez, Carissa, Daina, Jenny and Pat

"As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn