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.
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.
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.
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.
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.