On Tuesday October 24, people living in and around Mission Beach who have been affected by breast cancer are invited to Breast Cancer Network Australia’s (BCNA) Living Well Information Forum to learn about the latest in current and emerging breast cancer treatments and care.
BCNA’s Director of Policy, Advocacy and Support Services Vicki Durston says the free event will clarify what support and resources are available both locally and through organisations such as BCNA.
“We know there are significant challenges accessing resources and support services in Mission Beach, with many people affected by breast cancer travelling to Cairns or Townsville for treatment and bearing the financial burden of doing so,” Ms Durston said. “We’ve also heard from our members on a lack of access to breast care nurses, primary health care, and long wait times for breast reconstruction.”
As Australia’s leading breast cancer consumer organisation, BCNA’s Information Forum also gives attendees the opportunity to connect, network, share lived experiences, and hear from healthcare experts.
BCNA’s pre-event survey data showed a key concern for those affected by breast cancer in the Mission Beach region was long wait times for breast reconstruction.
“We are aware of significant delays in access to breast reconstruction in the public system, with some within our network facing wait times of over five years” Ms Durston said. “Recently, we turned our advocacy focus to Queensland when we heard about unacceptable delays in diagnosis due to backlogs affecting pathology.
“Any delay to diagnosing breast cancer can result in poorer outcomes and fewer treatment options,” Ms Durston said.
The pre-event survey of health professionals around Mission Beach noted high incidents of breast cancer due to a large retiree population.
“BCNA hopes to bring information about these issues to locals in Mission Beach and also hear from attendees whether they have faced these issues themselves,” Ms Durston said. “We look forward to connecting with the community to hear about their experiences.”
BCNA’s Information Forums are designed for everyone affected by breast cancer – whether they have been diagnosed with DCIS, early breast cancer, or metastatic breast cancer. It will also be an opportunity to hear from local community groups and BCNA members, who will share their stories.
October is international Breast Cancer Awareness Month and at BCNA our theme is “Living Well, Your Way”. What this theme recognises is that “living well” looks different for everyone, and it is likely that people affected by breast cancer will require different types of support at different times. With 20,458 women and 217 men expected to receive a diagnosis in 2023, raising awareness around the different support and resources available to help people live well with or beyond breast cancer is essential.
Registrations are free and open right up until the start time via the BCNA website.
Date: Tuesday 24 October
Location: Castaways Resort & Spa, 2 Pacific Pde, Mission Beach
Time: 9.00 am for 9.30 am start – 3.00 pm
Medical oncologist Dr Michelle White
Clinical Psychologist Chloe Oliver
Sexual Health Physician Dr Tonia Mezzini
Exercise Physiologist Jody Spicer
Physiotherapist Maebh Coleman
Breast Care Nurse Deirdre Maunsell
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