Breast cancer patient registers vital to improved treatment
BCAC is strongly supportive of the need to gather accurate information about the incidence of breast cancer in New Zealand through breast cancer patient registers.
This year's Pink Ribbon Breakfast campaign run by BCAC member group, the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation, is raising money to establish breast cancer patient registers in all New Zealand oncology units.
BCAC deputy chair, Chris Walsh, says quality information detailing the types of breast cancer, types of treatment used and survival rates among New Zealand women would help to improve breast cancer treatment in New Zealand.
There are currently four registers operating in New Zealand - in Auckland, Waikato, Wellington and Christchurch. These large databases provide clinicians with meaningful statistics to understand breast cancer incidence and may assist in helping to lower the death rate from the disease.
BCAC supports the Foundation's aim to fund registers for all six district health boards with oncology units in New Zealand.
Every year in New Zealand, over 2600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer (and around 20 men). Around 650 will die every year. Although many survive their breast cancer, women in New Zealand still face a 20 per cent greater chance of dying from breast cancer compared with women in Australia and other developed countries.
NZBCF Medical Advisory Committee member Dr Reena Ramsaroop, Specialist Pathologist, says that collecting, collating and analysing New Zealand breast cancer statistics is the only way clinicians and researchers can accurately treat New Zealand women diagnosed with breast cancer.
“The answers to the decreased survival of New Zealand women can only be found in New Zealand women and the breast cancer registers provide this vital data. We need to follow our women having our treatment in our country. With this data we can stimulate research to help us address these questions. With the registers we have the potential to further improve treatment so that hopefully fewer NZ women lose their lives to this disease.”
You can hold your own Pink Ribbon Breakfast for family and friends anytime in May, wherever you choose; in your home, the local park, a café or your workplace. The NZBCF has delicious and nutritious recipes from our Ambassadors and Healthy Food Guide nutritionist and star of TV One’s new show ‘Do or Die’ Claire Turnbull. All of these and a list of breakfast resources are available on our website www.pinkribbonbreakfast.co.nz.