I have found that researchers do listen to us and take our suggestions on board. The value of a having a Consumer Representative involved in research should never be underestimated. – Kym, BCNA Consumer Representative
Since 1999, BCNA has run the internationally recognised consumer representative program Seat at the Table (SATT).
The program aims to make sure the voices, needs and interests of Australians affected by breast cancer are taken into account wherever decisions are made about breast cancer research, treatment and care.
Through SATT, BCNA recruits, trains, appoints and supports people who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer to become BCNA Consumer Representatives. There are currently 91 women throughout Australia in the program.
BCNA Consumer Representatives volunteer their time on a wide range of local, national and international projects. For example, BCNA Consumer Representatives give advice and feedback to researchers who are working to develop new breast cancer treatments or to reduce the side effects of current treatments, such as fatigue or nausea.
BCNA Consumer Representatives also work with health professionals to develop new programs and services aimed at improving people’s physical or emotional wellbeing. These may include programs aimed at increasing people’s physical activity, programs to reduce people’s fear that the cancer may return, or services for those diagnosed with breast cancer when their children are young.
Consumer Representatives also sit on a range of advisory committees. For example, two BCNA Consumer Representatives sat on a Cancer Australia working group that developed clinical guidelines for health professionals about how best to manage menopausal symptoms in younger women affected by breast cancer.
We wish to thank all BCNA Consumer Representatives for their significant and ongoing contribution to improving the outcomes of Australians affected by breast cancer.
You can find out more about Seat at the Table on our website, bcna.org.au/satt.