During and after your breast cancer treatment you may be left with numerous physical side effects that affect your day-to-day life.
These may include pain, lymphoedema, fatigue, early menopause, and/or limited muscle movement in your back or arm. You may also have to cope with hair loss, scars, and the loss of a breast.
In this section, you’ll find information about
Many women who have experienced breast cancer feel they have new perspective on life once they have finished treatment. But many also approach this time with a feeling of trepidation.
You may feel uncomfortable about no longer having regular contact with your medical team. You may feel anxious and worried about whether the cancer will return. You may feel worried about the future.
Advanced or metastatic breast cancer is when the breast cancer cells spread from the breast to other parts of the body. This leads to the development of cancer in other areas, such as the liver, bone, lungs or brain.
There is no known cure for advanced breast cancer so facing a diagnosis can be scary. You may be thinking “how long do I have?”, “why me?”, and “it’s not fair”.
You will not know exactly what the future holds, but for many women the disease can be well controlled and they live full, happy and productive lives.
Breast cancer does not discriminate, and with over 3,000 New Zealanders diagnosed each year, many of you will not necessarily fit the ‘typical profile’ of an older female breast cancer patient. If you are young, Māori, Pasifika, male, or LGBTQI+, some of your support needs may differ from the mainstream.
These pages give information and advice to help you.
After handling your breast cancer diagnosis and getting through immediate surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy, you’ll be keen to get on with your ‘new normal’ ‘post-breast cancer’ life. Most women report that experiencing breast cancer changes their outlook on life.
You may still be under treatment for some time to come. If your cancer was hormone receptor positive, your hormone therapy may continue for several years. If your diagnosis was advanced breast cancer, your treatments will continue indefinitely. Even if you no longer need active treatment, the emotional and physical impacts of your breast cancer may continue to affect you.
In 2004, twelve of this country’s breast cancer-related groups met for the first time to discuss ways to improve breast cancer survival rates in New Zealand.
BCAC was formed following this historic meeting with the mandate to work to provide a unified evidence-based voice to ensure that world-class detection, treatment and care is accessible to all women with breast cancer in Aotearoa, New Zealand.
Since then BCAC has grown. Its initial membership of 12 breast cancer groups now stands at 32 groups around New Zealand and around 50 individual members. You can find out more about our members and the services they offer on this site.
The final TriWoman Series is being held on April 9, 2011 at Pt Chevalier. Give it a go and you'll be supporting BCAC member group, the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation (NZBCF).
With a swim of 300m, cycle of approx 10km and a run or walk of approx 3km to finish, the distances are achievable but challenging enough to give a real sense of accomplishment. Sign up for it now!
The NZBCF is the official charity for the final event. To help support us all you need to do is get your friends and family to sponsor you to complete the race - easy!
BreastScreen Aotearoa is the free national breast screening programme for women aged between 45 and 69.
You can have a free screening mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Aotearoa if you meet the following requirements: