From the Source

Welcome to Cancer Australia’s 2017 winter edition of From the Source. To download a PDF version of this newsletter, click here.

Management of menopausal symptoms in women with a history of breast cancer

In December 2016, Cancer Australia published a new clinical practice guideline, Management of menopausal symptoms in women with a history of breast cancer. The new guideline provides evidence-based recommendations on the management of menopausal symptoms for all women, regardless of age, who have been treated for breast cancer. Cancer Australia also released a consumer guide, Managing menopausal symptoms after breast cancer – a guide for women, which provides information about menopause and managing its symptoms.

While menopause can be a challenge for any woman, some menopausal symptoms after breast cancer, such as hot flushes and night sweats, are often more severe than ‘natural’ menopause. Management of menopausal symptoms after treatment for breast cancer can be complex, and needs a different approach to that used by women who enter menopause naturally. However, most symptoms of menopause can be managed with appropriate care.

Cancer Australia’s clinical practice guideline includes recommendations on hormonal, non-hormonal and complementary therapies. The guideline is endorsed by Breast Cancer Network Australia, the Australasian Menopause Society,

BreastSurgANZ and the Medical Oncology Group of Australia. Visit canceraustralia.gov.au/resources to download these resources.

Improving outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Cancer Australia engaged the Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia (AHCSA) to deliver Women’s Business Workshops by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers across Australia to promote awareness and early detection of gynaecological and breast cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. AHCSA has provided training and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers in local communities to enable them to facilitate the workshops, and 30 workshops have now been completed.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer experienced by Indigenous women. Cancer Australia has developed My breast cancer journey: a guide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families, a booklet to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and their families understand more about early breast cancer, from diagnosis through to follow up care. Visit canceraustralia.gov.au/resources to download a copy of the booklet.

Women with breast cancer supported to have important discussions about care that’s right for them

The Cancer Australia Statement: influencing best practice in breast cancer identifies 12 key appropriate and inappropriate practices, which represent agreed priority areas in breast cancer practice, from diagnosis to palliative care. The Statement was developed following a highly collaborative and evidence-based approach involving all key clinical, cancer and consumer organisations – including significant input from BCNA.

The Statement, released at Cancer Australia’s Pink Ribbon Breakfast on 24 October 2016, aims to encourage and support consumers to feel empowered to have discussions with their health care team, to enable them to make informed decisions about their cancer care.

The Statement also encourages health professionals to reflect on their clinical practice to ensure it is aligned with the evidence and delivers value to patients and the health system.

Detailed information about the Practices, as well as consumer resources, videos and fact sheets, can be found at canceraustralia.gov.au/statement.

In addition to its role in developing the Statement, BCNA has championed, supported, promoted and integrated the practices across several of its platforms. Videos on Fertility and Family Planning, and Hypofractionated Radiotherapy, can be found on BCNA’s Facebook page.

Please visit canceraustralia.gov.au/statement to view all 12 practice videos.

Issue 79
Winter 2017