How we help
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BCAC provides a voice for those with breast cancer in order to improve the detection, treatment and care of this disease.
You can read our 2012 Annual Report here.
Our key aims are to:
- Inform: by providing evidence-based information for women and their families to help them make decisions about treatment and care
- Support: newly diagnosed women by giving them our Step by Step resource pack to help them through the early stages of diagnosis
- Represent: the views of women with breast cancer to decision-makers to ensure world-class treatment and care is available in New Zealand
- Promote: the practice of breast awareness and the free breast screening programme for 45 to 69-year-olds to ensure breast cancer is diagnosed and treated early
- Improve: breast cancer outcomes for Maori and Pacific women
- Network: to ensure communication and sharing of resources and information among New Zealand’s breast cancer-related groups.
You can read our BCAC Annual Report for 2011 here.
Some of our recent work includes:
- Producing a series of web videos, Kiwi Stories of Breast Cancer, of men and women talking about their experiences of a breast cancer diasgnosis, treatment, care and life afterwards, and how they have coped with this challenging journey.
- Creating and developing a new website to provide a comprehensive resource supplying detailed information about all aspects of breast cancer and the supports that are available.
- Briefing the Minister of Health, Hon Tony Ryall, on issues faced by women with breast cancer, including the need for timely cancer treatment particularly chemotherapy and surgery; the shortage of medical oncologists to provide effective treatment for New Zealand cancer patients; and the need to regionally extend and fund the New Zealand Breast Cancer Registers to capture detailed data about breast cancer.
- BCAC Committee member, Libby Burgess, was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to women’s health in the New Year’s Honours.
- Distributing Step by Step support packs to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Briefing the Minister of Health, Hon Tony Ryall, on issues faced by women with breast cancer, including long waiting times for chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment; inconsistencies in provision and care around the country; and increasing and retaining a high quality cancer workforce.
- Meeting with the country's medicine's regulator, Medsafe, to clarify issues surrounding the bioequivalence of generic medicines.
- Supporting the establishment of breast cancer support group, Wahine Toa, to specifically address the needs of Māori women diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Participation in the Breast Cancer Special Interest Group (BCSIG) of the NZ Association of Cancer Specialists as consumer representatives.
- Making submissions to PHARMAC asking the medicines funder to extend access to the taxane docetaxel, and lapatinib, a targeted therapy for HER2 positive breast cancer.
- Attendance at numerous conferences to extend knowledge of breast cancer treatment and care in order to advocate more effectively for world-class services in New Zealand.
- Responding to consultations, to the ministerially appointed High Cost Medicines Panel and to PHARMAC on its Exceptional Circumstances funding.
- BCAC Committee member, Dr Chris Walsh, was appointed as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to women’s health in the New Year’s Honours.
- Publishing more than 2500 Step by Step support packs and distributing them to women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
- Assisting with the creation of clinical guidelines for the management of early breast cancer to ensure all women in New Zealand get the very best treatment no matter where they live.
- Meeting with the Health Minister, Hon Tony Ryall, to highlight the need for better breast cancer treatment and care.
- Making a submission to PHARMAC to improve its consumer and consultation representation.
- Helping to recruit women for various breast cancer clinical trials and research projects.
- Driving the Herceptin campaign which resulted in the Government funding a year-long treatment programme of the drug for women with HER2 Positive breast cancer.
- Supporting the Herceptin Heroes as they undertook a Judicial Review to get Pharmac to fund a 12-month programme of Herceptin.
- Making submissions to Glaxo SmithKline, Pharmac and the Government to make Lapatinip (Tykerb) available in New Zealand.
- Working to ensure delayed breast reconstruction is available in a timely manner throughout the country.