Friday Update - 3rd May 2024

Mez_BCNA Administrator, Staff, Member, Moderator Posts: 917
edited May 17 in Community news and events

Welcome to May!

This month is always busy for BCNA with the launch of the Pink Bun Campaign (9-29 May), where 100% of Fun Bun sales go directly to BCNA.  We also see many wonderful Pink Sports Day events happening around Australia; turning PINK is a great way for clubs, associations and schools to create awareness and show support for the families in their local community affected by breast cancer.

There has also been plenty of important media in relation to breast cancer related drugs and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), which we will share below. 

Enjoy the update.

Community Highlights

April Activity

April saw 59 new discussions; 443 new comments and 13,119 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' 1 - 20 April 2024

Community News

BCNA News - Life prolonging breast cancer drug recommended for PBS subsidy, but it is not to celebrate

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) last week welcomed a decision by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to recommend the life prolonging breast cancer drug Enhertu (trastuzumab deruxtecan) for government subsidy on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for HER2-low metastatic breast cancer.

However, BCNA Director of Policy, Advocacy & Support Services, Vicki Durston, said that we are not yet able to celebrate because the drug remains out of reach to thousands who need it. This is because the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca refuses to increase access by lowering the price of its Patient Access Program (PAP) for Enhertu Read Further Details Here

BCNA News - Transformative funding for Australian medical research must centre people with a lived experience  

Medical research achieves much greater outcomes if people with lived experience are involved in its design and implementation, according to Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) – Australia’s leading breast cancer consumer organisation.

Welcoming the Australian Government’s $1.89 billion Health Research for a Future Made in Australia funding package, BCNA Director of Policy, Advocacy & Support Services Vicki Durston said involving consumers means that Australian researchers can remain at the cutting edge of research Read Further Details Here

SBS News - Drug (Verzenio) offers new hope for Australians with breast cancer

Patients at high risk of their breast cancer returning will soon have access to a treatment that could prevent just that. For some a re-diagnosis is their biggest fear, which is why improved access to a key drug is considered an important step. Listen to the SBS Podcast Drug offers new hope for Australians with breast cancer | SBS News

ABC News - Breast Cancer is becoming more common among under -50s and free screening is a secret

Even though there's recognition women can get breast cancer when they're younger, it's still more common in older people. "More than 75 per cent of breast cancers occur in women aged 50 to 74," said Vicki Durston, a director at BCNA. "However, there is increasing evidence that screening younger women is beneficial, which is why screening programs in Australia and other countries are often from age 40." Another problem relates to that issue of breast density and age, which we touched on above. A dense breast is not related to size or feel but whether a breast is made up of mostly glandular or fibrous tissue (dense) or fatty tissue (less dense). "One of the challenges in screening younger women is breast density, which is more common in younger women," Ms Durston said. "Breast density can reduce the ability for a mammogram to pick up cancer but can also be a risk factor for breast cancer." The combination of age and density makes it less appealing to offer mass screening to women under the age of 40. Instead, those women are advised to undertake regular self-examinations Read Further Details Here


The Beacon Magazine - available now!

In case you missed it, the latest edition of The Beacon magazine is available now.
In this edition of The Beacon, we put a spotlight on the power of your voice. We hear incredible personal stories including from two young women carrying a BRCA gene mutation, the experience of caring for loved ones – and yourself too, and the view of a health professional who has had her own breast cancer diagnosis. 
We also celebrate the Government’s announcement of $1.5 million in funding to create a cancer data alliance to have people with metastatic breast cancer consistently counted on cancer registries across Australia. 

We hope you enjoy this edition of The Beacon. Click link to read The Beacon (

Think Pink Foundation

Have you heard of the Think Pink Foundation? Programs will continue to run online via Zoom and Live at the Centre (Victoria). Best of all, programs remain FREE for clients. 

Next week's sessions can be booked directly via the 
website or from the links below.
Please remember to only register once. 
Bookings are essential so don't delay!

BCNA Forums/Webcasts


Exercise is well known to positively impact your physical and emotional wellbeing. Did you know it can also positively affect things like fatigue, lymphoedema, muscle strength, depression and anxiety?

Join us on Wednesday 22 May 7pm AEST to hear from Lauren Whiting, Founder and CEO of Lift Cancer Care Services. Lauren will be sharing simple and practical ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, the benefits of exercise, how to seek resources and access support from experts like an exercise physiologist.

Submit your questions before or during the event to have them answered!

This webcast is for anyone who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer or who is living with or after a breast cancer diagnosis. To find out more and to register, visit the link

Books/Movies/TV Series/Documentaries

We have been in Tasmania this week to present our Information Forums and one of the attendee's expressed how helpful they found Professor Neil Piller's presentation on Lymphoedema. You can check out his presentation at our Murray Bridge forum:

Take care 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 (AEST), alternatively you can email 

"Movement is the song of the body." - Vanda Scaravelli