BCNA News


Celebrate your breasties

Good friends are worth celebrating, especially your ‘Breast Friends’ – those who are or who have supported you in your breast cancer journey.

BCNA and Bakers Delight are Breast Friends too. We’ve been partners for 19 wonderful years, and it’s thanks to their annual Pink Bun campaign that we’re able to continue to provide our services free of charge to anyone who needs them.

From 2-15 May, 100 per cent of the sale price of fun buns will go to BCNA. From 16-29 May, $1 from every six-pack of selected bread rolls will go to BCNA.

There will also be a special ‘Breast Friends’ tote bag for sale at selected Bakers Delight stores.

For the campaign photo shoot, we asked a few of our members to gather their ‘Breast Friends’ and bring them along to celebrate. Some of these people were still in active treatment. Look out for them in stores.

For this year’s Pink Bun campaign, we’d love you to go into your local Bakers Delight bakery to say thank-you, as well as well as support the campaign by buying rolls or buns and encouraging family and your ‘breast friends’ to do the same. In the meantime, keep an eye on our website and social media ahead of the campaign launch.


Breast cancer is the same in every language

Building Bridges Toward Recovery – This is the theme of the next Reach to Recovery International Breast Cancer Support Conference in Prague, Czech Republic on 12 – 15 June 2019. The conference will be hosted by the Alliance of Women with Breast Cancer, which serves as an umbrella organisation for 45 patient groups throughout the Czech Republic and is a member of Europa Donna.

In 2009, the conference was hosted in Brisbane so this is a perfect opportunity to catch up with friends you may not have seen in person for 10 years!

The program will feature presentations from internationally renowned experts in the field of breast cancer support and care. As always, the conference will offer many opportunities for networking, socialising, and sharing best practices. These connections are invaluable in helping breast cancer volunteers and advocates advance their mission to improve the lives of women affected by breast cancer worldwide.

To learn more about Reach to Recovery International and the upcoming RRI Breast Cancer Support Conference in Prague, visit www.reachtorecoveryinternational.org, www.reachtorecoveryinternational.org/media/, and www.reachtorecovery2019.org.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn, share, enjoy the sisterhood of breast cancer survivors from around the world, and experience the dynamic city of Prague!

New drug for HER-2 positive HR-positive breast cancer approved in Australia

BCNA welcomes the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) approval of the drug Nerlynx (neratinib) as a new treatment option for Australians diagnosed with HER2-positive, hormone receptor positive (HR-positive) early breast cancer.

Clinical trials have shown Nerlynx can reduce the five-year risk of breast cancer returning by up to 42 per cent when Nerlynx is started within 1 year of completing Herceptin.

It is a key priority for BCNA to ensure that new treatment options such as this drug are approved for sale in Australia quickly and are put on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) so all women and men who could benefit from these new treatments can access them.

BCNA has provided a submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to add Nelynx to the PBS, stressing the need for Nerlynx to be subsidised through the PBS so it is affordable for anyone who could benefit from it.

While the PBAC considers the application for Nerlynx to be included on the PBS, the drug company that distributes Nerlynx has opened a compassionate access program to enable Australians with HER2-positive, HR-positive early breast cancer who have been treated with Herceptin in the past 12 months to receive Nerlynx at no cost.

BCNA CEO Kirsten Pilatti said not all pharmaceutical companies provide a full compassionate access scheme, which gives women and men access to new drugs free of charge.

“We want to acknowledge Specialised Therapeutics Australia for taking this step. BCNA would like to see this as standard practice for all new drug treatments.”

“It’s also great to see that this access scheme has been opened straight after TGA approval so that Australians can access this drug right away. BCNA would like to see this level of responsiveness become more common in Australia.”

If you have been diagnosed with HER2-positive, HR-positive early breast cancer and have been treated with Herceptin in the past 12 months, you may like to speak to your medical oncologist about whether Nerlynx might be suitable for you.

More about Nerlynx

Nerlynx is an oral medication, which is taken daily for 12 months in conjunction with an aromatase inhibitor. This means you can take it at home regardless of where you live.

Diarrhoea is a common side effect, especially in the first two months of starting treatment. However, anti-diarrhoeal medications have been found to help reduce the impact of diarrhoea. Your medical oncologist will be able to talk to you more about how to manage this side effect.


Post-surgery sports bra hits the shelves

Berlei is proud to announce its first-ever Post-Surgery Active Bra for women who have had mastectomy surgery. The bra is currently available in black, and incorporates a sporty design while maintaining all the support and comfort elements needed – including space for a prosthesis. Elements of the sports bra were inspired by the feedback we received from three focus groups held with BCNA members who expressed their wishes for a post-surgery bra that would support an active lifestyle.

The bra is available at all Berlei stockists for $59.99 RRP, or online at berlei.com.au.


Issue 84
Autumn 2019