Building a stronger voice for people with metastatic breast cancer

On launching its Influencing best practice in metastatic breast cancer Statement, Cancer Australia also released a suite of videos featuring three of our BCNA champions with metastatic breast cancer Marie Pandeloglou, Julia Domigan and Kim Parish.

Kim was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2017 after a previous diagnosis of early breast cancer in 2011.

Kim said she was proud of the work that had been done around the statement and the promotion and particularly felt the need to make a strong case around the importance of communication.

“Communication is more than health professionals providing the appropriate information at the right time. It’s about delivering it in a form people can understand. It’s about listening, it’s about responding, it’s about sensitivity, it’s about cultural differences and it’s about supportive care,” she said.

Kim also reflected on the broader importance of the Statement.

“We wanted to address the issues of inequity and access to care in Australia and provide clinicians with guidance around appropriate practices.”

“For us, it was about providing a stronger voice for people with metastatic breast cancer.”

“In just the few months since the Statement was launched, women have already told me they feel more able to go to their clinicians and ask “what about this? I have a paper in my hand that says x, y, z may be appropriate for me.”

“Even if a particular practice isn’t appropriate, it ensures that discussion takes place and enables a person’s voice to be heard in a way it may not otherwise have been. It equalises what can sometimes be an unbalanced relationship and enable people to be an active participant in decisions made.”

For Kim being a part of the project was a vital opportunity to represent the voice of all Australians.

“I have no doubt the input of people living with metastatic breast cancer has made it a better product,” Kim said.

You can view the videos here.

Issue 86
Autumn 2020