By Shoshana Maasland, Te Waha Nui (AUT University). Photo also by Shoshana
Fay Sowerby was already involved in breast cancer research when she was diagnosed with the illness. The secretary of Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition was well-informed and had been having annual mammograms and occasional ultrasounds. She had recently received an all-clear letter advising she wouldn’t need another mammogram for two years. Four months later, though, she felt a lump.
“I was in a [store] changing room at Lululemon and I put my hand on the side of my breast and felt a small lump. I had no doubt when I touched it what it was.”
The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) is underway in Texas. BCAC has two delegates attending – Deputy Chair Emma Crowley and Secretary Fay Sowerby. They are there to learn the latest developments in breast cancer treatment and research to bring back home to help BCAC support and inform women with breast cancer. It's great to see NZ oncologists Eletha Taylor, Naera Waters and Reuben Broom absorbing the latest clinical trial results to benefit NZ women at SABCS (pictured L-R in the second photo down on the right).
The Symposium brings together people from all over the world with an interest in the latest in breast cancer research, detection and treatment.
Highly recommended video on the future of breast cancer treatment
Among our key milestones of 2019, we achieved funding for new medicines, produced an updated Step by Step support pack, and continued our wide-ranging work to ensure world-class detection, treatment and care for women with breast cancer.
It was fabulous to see so many smiling faces at our AGM in Auckland on 3 December. Members and guests gathered to celebrate the successes of the past year and look ahead to priorities for 2020.
BCAC media release, 5 December 2019
Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) is delighted to learn that fulvestrant (Faslodex) will be funded by PHARMAC in the New Year, BCAC Chair Libby Burgess says.
We are very grateful to LeRêve (NZ), a direct selling company, for taking part in an Australasian fun run to raise money for BCAC. Forty-five LeRêve (NZ) consultants, staff, friends and family travelled to the Gold Coast to run or walk 5km in the event with their Australian counterparts. The NZ contingent raised more than $8,000 for BCAC which is an awesome result.
When Ethna Renner was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, it was the most daunting news she had ever received. Suddenly she was faced with something she had no control over.
Her family have been amazing and work has been really supportive, she says. She is also full of praise for the hospital staff and the medical team who looks after her. “You feel like you’re special rather than just a number.”
Wellingtonian Lachlan McKenzie is excited he completed his first ever marathon in good time on Saturday 16 November in Queenstown, raising money for BCAC.
He has been training for many months – since Easter and has run almost 1,000 kilometres over that time. “I’ve spent so much time on my feet and got so fit!”
Media release, 1 October 2019
BCAC is extremely disappointed to read that access to cancer medicines does not appear to be a priority for New Zealand’s new cancer control agency according to its national director, Diana Sarfati, in a recent interview.
Lachlan McKenzie is running the Queenstown Marathon in November to raise money for BCAC and says he is loving the training.
“I didn’t necessarily expect it to be so enjoyable but it’s been awesome, I’m getting great support and feel really happy raising money for BCAC and the work they do for women with breast cancer,” Lachlan says.