On these pages you can check out the latest breast cancer news from BCAC and our member groups. We also provide up-to-date information and links to current breast cancer research and clinical trials. Read latest stories below, or use the filters or the pager below for other stories. Use the form to the right of this to subscribe to our e-News.
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.
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.
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.
A team from BCAC met this week with the Minister of Health, the Hon. Tony Ryall, and highlighted the urgent need to address New Zealand’s desperate shortage of medical oncologists at three of the six cancer treatment centres around the country.
BCAC chair, Libby Burgess, says Mr Ryall was very receptive to the issues we raised. He is clearly committed to ensuring his policy of “better, sooner, more convenient” healthcare is extended to breast cancer patients.
Breast cancer affects more than 2750 New Zealand women every year, but it's not just a woman's disease. Each year around 20 men are also diagnosed with breast cancer.
Many of the men who are diagnosed may have a family history of the disease and may carry the faulty genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 which means they are more susceptible to breast cancer.
Men should be on the lookout for similar symptoms to women, including:
There are numerous clinical trials taking place around New Zealand to gather evidence about new medicines or treatment methods that may help to improve breast cancer care in future.
In a clinical trial, a large number of women with breast cancer will be asked to test a new medicine, group of medicines or treatment method.
Researchers can then compare the outcomes for these women with the outcomes for women on a more usual treatment programme.
If you’re a younger woman with breast cancer, you may be concerned about how the disease and treatment may affect your fertility and your future ability to have children.
No two breast cancer journeys are exactly alike, but knowing what other women have gone through can mean we don’t feel so alone.
A study is currently underway through the University of Auckland to look at the psychological impact of fears about cancer recurrence in women who’ve been treated for breast cancer.
The research project will involve up to 130 New Zealand women who have been treated for breast cancer and is being run by doctoral student, Loshni Rogers.