From the Source: Cancer Australia bulletin

Welcome to Cancer Australia’s 2017 summer edition of From the Source.

Pink Ribbon Breakfast 2017

Cancer Australia’s 23rd Pink Ribbon Breakfast, its flagship annual breast cancer awareness event, was held on 3 October 2017 in Sydney. Hosted by Principal Supporter Macquarie Group Foundation, the 2017 Pink Ribbon Breakfast focussed on breast cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, who are 16 per cent less likely to survive breast cancer than non-Indigenous women.

The event program explored the key factors contributing to this lower survival rate in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, including breast awareness and the importance of visiting a doctor or health service with any new changes; stage of disease at diagnosis; the importance of detection of breast cancer at an early stage; participation in mammographic screening; and completion of treatment. Speakers included Professor Jacinta Elston and Sandy Miller, both breast cancer survivors and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women. The role of MC was taken by Natalie Ahmat, NITV journalist and news presenter.

Assistant Minister for Health Dr David Gillespie and Dr Helen Zorbas, CEO, Cancer Australia also addressed the audience.

Lots to Live For video still

A still from the Lots to Live For video.

At the Pink Ribbon Breakfast Cancer Australia launched Lots to Live For, a new video designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to share with family and friends on social media.

The video, which features prominent Aboriginal broadcaster, Leila Gurruwiwi, was produced to put vital knowledge about the importance of breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities. Lots to Live For aims to start a conversation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to increase the rates of early breast cancer detection and successful treatment.

Lots to Live For can be viewed on the Cancer Australia website. Please like and share.

New guide puts breast cancer to the ‘triple test’

The investigation of a new breast symptom guide

Screenshot of the new Investigation of a new breast symptom: a guide for General Practitioners 

Cancer Australia took the opportunity of a heightened focus on breast cancer on Pink Ribbon Day 23 October to release the Investigation of a new breast symptom: a guide for General Practitioners. The guide is designed to maximise the effectiveness of the investigation of symptoms that could be breast cancer.

The guide details the triple test, which is the recommended approach to investigating a new breast symptom. The triple test involves patient history and clinical breast examination, imaging (mammography and/or ultrasound) and non-excisional biopsy.

While most breast changes are not due to cancer, it is important to use the triple test to either confirm or exclude a diagnosis of breast cancer. If cancer is present, providing patients with a confirmed diagnosis is important to enable informed discussions and decision-making about treatment options.

Investigation of a new breast symptom: a guide for General Practitioners

Screenshot of the new Investigation of a new breast symptom: a guide for General Practitioners

The Investigation of a new breast symptom: a guide for General Practitioners incorporates the latest evidence and expert consensus and has been endorsed by Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA). It is an Accepted Clinical Resource of The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. It has also been endorsed by Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand, The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists and The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

The guide will be mailed to all GPs across Australia during November.

For more information about breast cancer, visit Cancer Australia’s Breast cancer page.

Survival can be just the beginning

For many people, diagnosis and treatment can be just the start of the cancer experience. Australians experience among the highest cancer survival rates in the world, and improvements in diagnostic methods, earlier detection and advances in treatment are contributing to more Australians surviving cancer than ever before. As survival for cancer overall continues to improve, an increasing proportion of the population will require ongoing treatments, support and long-term follow-up care.

In August 2017, Cancer Australia published the Principles of Cancer Survivorship, which provides a national framework to guide policy, planning and health system responses to cancer survivorship. The Principles focus on the health and wellbeing of people living with and beyond cancer.

The Principles are supported by intended outcomes and underpinned by elements to achieve personalised care, opportunities for self-management, an emphasis on recognising and incorporating patient experiences, and a focus on the ongoing management, recovery, health and wellbeing during and after cancer treatment.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer Australia was delighted to support BCNA initiatives Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on 13 October and Male Breast Cancer Awareness Day on 20 October through website banners and social media posts.

Find out about the latest developments in cancer research, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care – subscribe to Cancer Australia Connect.

Issue 81
Summer 2017