Friday Update 22nd December 2023 (BCNA Christmas Closure Details)

Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 921

Friday Update - 22nd December 2023

Hello Online Network community and welcome to the final Friday Update of 2023!

We haven't always kept up perfectly with the fortnightly update however we still managed 26 editions this year, so thankyou for reading. I would also like to acknowledge the 764 new members who have joined this year and while it isn't necessarily the community you hoped to be part of, we hope you have found support in connecting with others. Finally, a big shout out to our many long time members who continue to have a presence here and provide invaluable support to others.

Myself and the rest of the moderating team always feel grateful to witness the incredible conversations and stories shared here. We hope to see you again in 2024!


BCNA Helpline over Christmas and New Year

BCNA’s Helpline will be closed from 5pm today (AEDT) and will reopen on Wednesday 3 January at 9am (AEDT). During this time, you can request the Helpline team to call you back when we reopen by filling out this Form

If you are seeking support during this time, you can get in touch with the following organisations: 

Cancer Council 13 11 20  (operating on reduced hours) 

Beyond Blue 1300 224 436

Lifeline 13 11 14

1300YARN (12 92 76)

For information and resources about breast cancer, you can access our website

Online Network over Christmas and New Year

You can continue to connect with others with a breast cancer experience here on BCNA's Online Network (available 24/7)

Mez_BCNA Kate_BCNA and Daina-BCNA will be moderating the Online Network over the closure period should you need to send a private message for urgent matters you can include all moderators in your message. 

To send a private message from your laptop/desktop click the envelope next to your profile
picture and click on the highlighted picture below; type in the moderator’s
names in the ‘recipients’. Type the body of your message and hit ‘Post Message’button:

To send a message from your mobile device you will click on your profile picture and then the envelope will be on the top-right (screenshot below):

Community highlights

Christmas Funnies

In the spirit of Christmas Funnies…

Popular forum discussions

You may be interested in several forum discussions that have received the most comments in December:

Here we (I) go
Where do I start......
what to take to hospital
Lobular breast cancer just diagnosed

Community News

Season Greetings from Kirsten Pilatti (aka KP)

BCNA Celebrating 25 years

We know that in another 25 years’ time, things may look very different. We anticipate further advances in breast cancer prevention, improved services to support those living with and beyond breast cancer, and new innovative ways that we access health information.

So where do we see BCNA in 25 years’ time?

‘My granddaughters will be reaching an age where breast cancer may come into their lives. If breast cancer is still here, if it hasn't been eradicated or if we haven't found a way to prevent it from happening, then I would hope that BCNA is still a haven that can be relied upon.’ - Lyn Swinburne AO, BCNA Founder

‘I want to see everyone, not just those with the strongest voices, getting the best care. I also want BCNA to continue to help those diagnosed to find each other and to feel a sense of shared understanding through the connections we foster’. – Kirsten Pilatti, BCNA CEO

You can read more BCNA's 25-year story CLICK HERE

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - PROSPECT Study

BCNA welcomes new Australian research which has found breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) prior to breast surgery, may be able to identify patients who can safely avoid radiotherapy.

This could lead to less treatment, fewer side effects and save thousands of dollars in healthcare costs.

The PROSPECT study – recently presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Conference and published in @the_lancet_ – also found participants who did not have radiotherapy, had substantially lower rates of fear of breast cancer recurrence and better quality of life compared to those who did.

The researchers, led by Professor Bruce Mann, also found patients have a positive perception about tailored care, lower treatment burden and trust in clinicians.

Read more about the study led by Professor Bruce Mann via the LINK

Travelling and Airport Security

Travelling through airport security with a breast prosthesis this holiday season? Here's what you need to know.

With the busy travel period coming up, BCNA is still hearing that some people travelling through airport security wearing a breast prosthesis or compression bra are having distressing experiences.

If you feel comfortable, let airport staff know you are wearing a breast prosthesis or compression bra before passing through security. It can also be helpful to carry a letter from your doctor. 

Airport staff may organise another imaging scan or a pat down.

If this happens you must be treated respectfully. You can request to be screened in a private area and by an officer of the same gender. Your prosthesis or bra should never be touched or removed. 

BCNA is now working together with all major Australian airports to ensure their staff are well informed and trained to ensure all people with prostheses are treated respectfully.

For more information, call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 or visit the LINK

Otis Foundation

Perhaps a Christmas gift for yourself or someone else affect by breast cancer.  Otis Foundation is a national charity gifting retreat accommodation to people experiencing breast cancer and their loved ones. They will take enquiries from anyone who has experienced breast cancer and feel they would benefit from a stay.

BCNA Forums/Webcasts

Mission Beach Information Forum Recording - Now Available! CLICK HERE to access recording.

The Information Forum covered topics including:

  • current and emerging treatments
  • sexual health
  • strategies to enhance physical and emotional wellbeing.

We heard from two BCNA members, Angela and Sharon, about their lived experience.

Members were also advised of local support as well as learning more about BCNA’s services and resources.

Guest speakers included:

  • Dr Michelle White, Medical Oncologist
  • Chloe Oliver, Clinical Psychologist
  • Dr Tonia Mezzini, Sexual Health Physician
  • Jody Spicer, Exercise Physiologist
  • Maebh Coleman, Physiotherapist
  • Jessica Chenery, Metastatic Breast Care Nurse
  • Kate Tracey, Breast Care Nurse. 

Upcoming Webcast!
Stay tuned for the upcoming webcast related to "Persistent pain after treatment" on the 7th of February 2024 (Registration link will be posted in events through the Online Network soon).

Upcoming Information Forum!
Stay tuned for the upcoming BCNA Information forum to be held in Murray Bridge SA  on the 6th of March 2024 (Registration link will be posted in events through the Online Network soon)

Books/Movies/TV Series/Documentaries

We will round out this week's Friday Update with a Christmas movie recommendation, it is a family friendly movie and very sweet:

Or... if you are not feeling Christmas this year there is always 'The Grinch who stole Christmas' 

BCNA and the moderating team wish you a very restful, safe and happy festive season. Hope to connect with you all again in 2024!

The Mod Team - @Pat_BCNA @Mez_BCNA @Daina-BCNA @Kate_BCNA @Denise_BCNA @Risha_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 (AEDT), alternatively you can email 

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." - Edith Wharton