Friday Update (On Thursday!) - 25th January 2024

Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 921
edited February 22 in Community news and events

Hello everyone and welcome to the first 'Friday Update for 2024'.  Happy New Year! 
However you spent your time over the New Year, we hope it was with people you love and doing the things you enjoy.

The Online Network has welcomed 81 new members in January so far. As many of you have witnessed, the forum is such a supportive environment where you can ask any question and one of our members will respond. We again want to extend a huge thank you to all of our amazing long-time Online Network members who ensure that new members are made to feel welcome and comfortable to post their thoughts. 


A reminder about a couple of links that may be helpful in navigating the Online Network. These can be found under 'Community Info' along with other helpful posts:

Community Highlights

January Activity

January so far has seen 63 new discussions; 501 new comments and 15,725 visits to the community.

Popular Forum Discussions 

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

Posts by 'Category Name' January 2024

Community News

Breast Density Screening - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR)

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) has recently published a position statement on breast density.

BCNA and the RANZCR believe telling people about breast density should be a routine part of breast screening across Australia to help people manage their risk. Currently it is only reported in some states and territories.

About 40 per cent of women in Australia have increased breast density – this is the amount of fibrous and glandular tissue in a woman’s breasts compared with the amount of fatty tissue in the breast.

Breast density can make it harder to identify breast cancer on a mammogram and is also its own risk factor for breast cancer.

We will be working alongside partner organisations to advocate for improvements to Australia’s breast screening to make it more personalised based on individual risk, which can include breast density.

If you are worried about breast density, or any other breast cancer risk factors, ensure you speak to your GP.

See here for the RANZCR position statement and recent media.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Are you up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations?

With COVID-19 on the rise it is important to keep yourself and those around you safe so that our healthcare systems can continue to deliver care where it is needed.

The new year is a good time to speak to your GP about whether you are due for a booster vaccination. This is particularly important for those in active treatment for breast cancer, to help keep you safe.

If you’re in an indoor public place, on public transport or in a crowded setting, a fitted facemask can help protect you.

If you are having treatment for breast cancer and test positive for COVID-19, it's important to let your oncologist or treating team know as soon as possible.  

BCNA has continued to update a suite of content about COVID-19 and breast cancer on My Journey

Australian women who find breast lumps tell of lengthy wait times for diagnostic mammograms 

  • In short: People who need mammograms are speaking out about the long wait times to access the service — and the ensuing anxiety and costs associated with the delay.
  • One in seven women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer
  • What's next? The Breast Cancer Network of Australia says governments need to ramp up funding for clinics and financial support for those who need to travel for diagnosis and treatment
Read full article HERE and listen to BCNA's Vicki Durston (Director of Policy, Advocacy and Support Services) discuss this issue further on ABC TAS Radio (fast forward to 26m:36s)

Carman's Fun Run 2024

Join us for the Carman’s Fun Run 2024 on Sunday 18 February. Held at the picturesque Elsternwick Park, get ready to lace up, run your best and have fun doing it. For more details on how to register head to our website page Carman's Fun Run 2024 You may have seen our BCNA Raelene Boyle asking you to join!

YWCA Encore Programs
The Encore Program is an award-winning free 8-week exercise and wellness program delivering low-impact, prescriptive land and water-based exercises, and information sessions, in a safe and supportive environment. Group numbers are limited to a maximum of 14 participants.

Encore supports women in their breast cancer journey by helping them restore strength, mobility and flexibility as well as developing confidence and general wellbeing.

New to YWCA is the exercise and wellness program specifically for METS participants only
6 Mar 2024 to 24 Apr 2024 (Program runs every Wednesday from 10am-12pm at the Macquarie Uni aquatic centre at North Ryde). Check out more programs via the link

BCNA Forums/Webcasts

Webcast - Persistent pain after breast cancer – addressing quality of life

Many people can experience acute pain or discomfort in the initial stages of treatment for early breast cancer. However, for some people, pain may continue for weeks, months or years after treatment has finished. Persistent pain can present in varying forms, including, pain from surgery scars, phantom pain after a mastectomy, neuropathic pain associated with surgery or joint pain related to hormone-blocking treatments.

We will explore this topic with insights from experts and discuss the support that may be available to you in our webcast Persistent pain after breast cancer – addressing quality of life on Wednesday 7 February @7:00pm (AEDT)

You will hear from Professor Paul Glare, Pain Medicine Specialist; Dr Charlotte Tottman, Clinical Psychologist and Naveena Nekkalapudi, BCNA Consumer Representative.

This webcast will address types of persistent pain associated with early breast cancer treatments, strategies to manage pain including exercise, psychosocial support and cognitive behavioural therapy and further resources and support that may be available to you.

You will have the opportunity to submit your questions before and during the event REGISTER HERE

Recording - Ask the Expert: Menopause - It's more than a hot flush!

This online event provided strategies to manage menopausal symptoms and discussed the support available to assist with sexual and emotional wellbeing.

We heard from Dr Tonia Mezzini, Sexual Health Physician and Naveena Nekkalapudi, BCNA Consumer Representative Watch the webcast video

Upcoming Information Forum!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more information regarding BCNA's Information forum to be held in Murray Bridge SA  on the 6th of March 2024 

Books/Movies/TV Series/Documentaries

Given that genetic testing and life insurance discrimination has received significant coverage this week. Here is an example story shared by Meg Herrmann covered by ABC:

Genetic testing saves lives but can lead to discrimination when it comes to life insurance

If you have more questions about genetic testing and life insurance, please email

Take care everyone and if you have any feedback please feel free to comment below or send a private message.

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 

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice". - T.S. Eliot