New partnership to focus on women with secondary breast cancer

The Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) is excited to partner with the Karen Louisa Foundation to better support New Zealanders with secondary breast cancer.

The Karen Louisa Foundation will donate $20,000 to BCAC over the next year as the organisation launches a special focus on women with secondary breast cancer.

BCAC chairperson, Libby Burgess, says the aim is to better support the hundreds of New Zealanders currently living with secondary breast cancer.

“A diagnosis of secondary breast cancer is a real body blow that leaves women reeling and stressed.  We’re looking to provide peer support and knowledge to those who are newly diagnosed so that they can seek out good quality information and support as and when they need it,” Ms Burgess says.

BCAC will also step up its efforts to advocate on behalf of those with secondary breast cancer for improvements in treatment.

“We need greater access to treatments and medicines for those with secondary breast cancer to ensure that these women have a better quality of life and potentially longer lives too,” Ms Burgess says.

The Karen Louisa Foundation’s manager, Lisa Scott, agrees and says BCAC’s work fits with the aims and aspirations of her sister Karen Louisa Hunter who died of secondary breast cancer in 2015.

“Karen developed a passionate interest in improving patient access to the latest and most innovative treatments and medicines for secondary breast cancer. We’re thrilled to support BCAC in its work to do just that,” she says.

BCAC has already set up a Facebook support group for New Zealanders with secondary breast cancer called Metavivors NZ. The closed group provides support, information, advice and friendship to those with secondary breast cancer.  You can find them here.

If you’d like to help BCAC with its focus on secondary breast cancer, please donate here. 

You can find out more about the Karen Louisa Foundation here.

ENDS

8 August 2016

About secondary breast cancer in New Zealand:

  • Secondary breast cancer is also known as metastatic, advanced or Stage IV breast cancer.
  • It’s breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, liver, lung or brain.
  • There is no known cure for secondary breast cancer instead treatment focuses on control of the disease. 
  • It’s estimated that around 20 per cent of all breast cancer cases become secondary.  
  • You can be diagnosed with secondary breast cancer at any time – 5, 10 or 15 years after initial diagnosis or on first diagnosis.  
  • Secondary breast cancer can affect anyone who has had breast cancer, including young women and men.
  • Those with secondary breast cancer can live for many years while undergoing treatment.
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