From the source

Welcome to Cancer Australia’s April 2019 edition of From the Source

Cancer Australia Statement – influencing best practice in metastatic breast cancer
In 2019 Cancer Australia is undertaking work to identify appropriate and inappropriate practices to support best practice care for women with metastatic breast cancer in Australia, under the guidance of a multidisciplinary Metastatic Breast Cancer Expert Group.

Whilst women diagnosed and treated for metastatic breast cancer face many of the same issues as those treated for early breast cancer, their specific needs are unique. For women with metastatic breast cancer, there can be a number of additional emotional, physical and practical challenges.

Issues include managing symptoms of metastatic breast cancer and its treatment, adjusting to living with metastatic breast cancer and coping with concerns about facing an uncertain future.

The new Statement builds on the Cancer Australia Statement: influencing best practice in breast cancer, released in 2016, which aimed to iron out unwarranted variations in breast cancer care for women in Australia.

Similarly to the 2016 Statement, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is contributing to the Cancer Australia Statement – Influencing best practice in metastatic breast cancer project through the appointment of two consumer representatives to the Metastatic Breast Cancer Expert Group. BCNA will support and be involved in the promotion and dissemination of the Statement.

To view the 2016 Cancer Australia Statement: influencing best practice in breast cancer, including consumer information and short videos on each practice, visit click here.

The Statement will be released in late 2019.

All women are different, but breast awareness is the same for all
A new video animation, Find it early and survive, released by Cancer Australia at the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October 2018, aims to ensure that women of all ages, including younger women, have the information they need to find breast cancer early.  The video provides important reminders for women to know their own breasts and what is normal for them, to know the symptoms of breast cancer, and to attend mammographic screening if they are aged 50 and over.

View and share the video below:

New Cancer Australia website focused on breast cancer risk factors
In December 2018, Cancer Australia launched an extensive new website that provides up-to-date evidence-based information on 68 risk factors for breast cancer.

The Breast Cancer Risk Factors website categorises and details risk factors, protective factors, modifiable factors and factors that are unproven or unlikely. The website is an accessible platform with interactive features. Women can now readily access the latest information, based on the highest quality evidence, on which they can take action to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

This comprehensive, accessible tool will help women who have not been diagnosed with breast cancer to better understand risks associated with personal factors, family history and genetics, reproductive and lifestyle factors and medical history factors.

Click here to access the breast cancer risk factors website.

New Position Statement provides important guidance on testing for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women
Cancer Australia has released a revised Position Statement – Testing for ovarian cancer in asymptomatic women. The Position Statement provides health professionals with up-to-date evidence-based information and guidance in relation to routine screening of women who are at population risk of ovarian cancer, and surveillance of women at high or potentially high risk of developing ovarian cancer.

Women who have a BRCA1 or a BRCA2 gene mutation are at increased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

There is currently no evidence to support using any screening test to look for early changes due to ovarian cancer in women who do not have symptoms. This includes surveillance (monitoring) tests for women at high risk or potentially high risk of ovarian cancer who do not have symptoms. It is important that women are aware of signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and that they seek advice about any new or unusual symptoms.

Cancer Australia has also developed a consumer Frequently Asked Questions resource to assist with promoting and understanding the key messages of the Position Statement.

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

Issue 84
Autumn 2019