BCAC is delighted to announce that BreastScreen Aotearoa (BSA) has approved BCAC’s Step by Step resource pack for distribution by all the BSA screening providers around the country. The pack will be offered to all patients at breast cancer diagnosis appointments.
The announcement comes following a request by BCAC chair, Libby Burgess, to BSA’s Clinical Leader, Marli Gregory and BSA Programme Leader, Barbara Irwin earlier this year.
Sweet Louise member Jenny Short and her husband Rod are undertaking the trip of a lifetime - a cycle tour in Europe - and they're taking Sweet Louise along for the ride!
Jenny was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer five years ago and she made a decision to live life to the full and make her dreams reality. “Everyone needs to make the most of their time because you never know when it is going to be over.”
A new initiative is offering New Zealanders with uncommon forms of cancer the opportunity to link up with international cancer research. Breast cancer is a common disease but it has many different forms or sub-types that are not so common. A new rare tumour database will help ensure researchers have enough information about rarer tumours to facilitate research into understudied conditions.
BCAC chairperson, Libby Burgess recently attended the IMPACT Advocate Program at ANZBCTG in Australia. As part of the Advocate program, which is designed to equip consumers with knowledge and understanding of the breast cancer clinical trials research process, she attended a presentation by Associate Professor Clare Scott about the new rare tumour database – CART-WHEEL.org.
BCAC welcomes the Government’s response to the Health Select Committee's Inquiry into improving New Zealand’s environment to support innovation through clinical trials.
Libby Burgess, BCAC chair, says “We strongly support the Government’s commitment to improving the clinical trials environment in New Zealand as trials offer opportunities to patients to be involved in testing innovative new medicines and treatment techniques. Clinical trials play a crucial role in extending medical knowledge and lead to the development of better treatments for future patients. For breast cancer patients some trials provide early access to treatments that may mean reduced likelihood of recurrence and improved survival outcomes.”
BCAC committee members Rowena Mortimer and Libby Burgess are involved in the Northern Cancer Network's newly formed Breast Cancer Steering Group. The group includes a wide range of cancer doctors, breast care nurses, consumers and Māori representatives. It aims to improve outcomes for breast cancer patients using an evidence-based model. Mr Garth Poole, breast and general surgeon at Counties Manukau DHB, will chair the group.
Current levels of service being provided in the four northern DHBs will be evaluated to ensure there is equity of access to best practice care for all patients.
BCAC Secretary, Rowena Mortimer, comments that it is very encouraging to see this group established.
The Health Quality & Safety Commission will hold the first of its quality forums in Auckland and Christchurch in October.
The forums are open to people working in health, as well as health consumers and groups representing consumer interests.
Consumer engagement and participation in the health and disability sector is a priority for the Health Quality & Safety Commission, and is an important aspect of quality improvement.
The series of web videos, Kiwi Stories of Breast Cancer, recently produced by the Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) would not have been possible without the courage and generosity of those who agreed to appear on camera and share some of their personal stories with us.
The web videos feature 15 women and men talking candidly about diagnosis, treatment and recovery from breast cancer. View brief profiles of all those who appear in the web videos here.
BCAC deputy chair, Dr Chris Walsh, says our aim in producing these web videos was to demystify breast cancer and offer those diagnosed hope and reassurance that they are not alone.
BCAC members celebrated with former committee member Anne Hayden, when her PhD was conferred earlier this month. Anne’s thesis was entitled “Why rock the boat? Non-reporting of intimate partner violence”. Her work explored whether the use of restorative justice for such cases would increase reporting of intimate partner violence, and the results revealed that 79% of her sample of victims, perpetrators and key informants believed that it would increase reporting.
In July BCAC Chair, Libby Burgess, travelled to the Australian New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group (ANZBCTG) 33rd Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Queensland. The meeting attracted more than 200 researchers and international guest speakers to discuss the latest developments in breast cancer research, future directions for clinical trials and improving patient care.
Libby, who attended ANZBCTG as a member of the IMPACT program (see below), says the meeting provides an opportunity to discuss the latest research with experts and learn how the results might affect clinical trials and patient care.
Several current and former BCAC committee members were thrilled to attend the recent swearing-in ceremony for Claire Ryan, a founding member of BCAC, when she was appointed to the bench as a District Court Judge.
The ceremony which took place at the Auckland District Court was also attended by Dame Sian Elias, the Chief Justice, as well as many Court of Appeal, High Court and District Court Judges.