On November 16 2016 we held our first dedicated male breast cancer session in the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s annual conference at Gold Coast Australia. The session was chaired John Boyages. Experts speaking at the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s (COSA) Annual Scientific Meeting highlighted the unique psychological challenges that males with breast cancer face, as well as genetic mutations linked to the disease and the impact of hormonal treatment. Alongside the medical experts two men, Herb Wagner and Robert Fincher, shared their personal experiences with the disease and argued that male breast cancer is slipping under the radar because it lacks the advocacy and investment achieved by Pink campaigns focusing on breast cancer in women.
From Right to Left: Prof. John Boyages, The Challenges; Rob Fincher, MBC; Prof. Judy Kirk, Genetics; A/Prof. Nicholas Wilckens, Hormonal Treatments; Dr. Jemma Gilchrist, Pyschology and Herb Wagner, MBC advocate
The actual program outline for the COSA conference is listed in the link below: http://oncologynews.com.au/cosa-2016-meeting-highlights-issue-of-male-breast-cancer/
The Channel 7 news video:
Breast cancer is usually associated with women but a group of male survivors is banding together to raise awareness.www.7News.com.au#7News
Posted by 7 News Gold Coast on Saturday, November 19, 2016
“Professor Mei Krishnasamy, President of COSA said that this was the first time male breast cancer had been scheduled into their annual conference as a session topic.
“The Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA) is the pre-eminent Society for multidisciplinary cancer health professionals working across all domains and locations of cancer care and control in Australia (https://www.cosa.org.au/). Each year COSA holds its Annual Scientific Meeting which hosts national and international multidisciplinary experts who come together to share the latest innovations in cancer research, clinical care and education. In November 2016, COSA held its 43rd Annual Scientific Meeting in partnership with the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials group, with the theme “Partners for Progress in Breast Cancer Research and Care”. Notably, the conference program included a session dedicated to male breast cancer. Chaired by Dr John Boyages, Professor of Breast Oncology at Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia, the session delivered expert insight into the treatment, management and impact of male breast cancer. Issues and considerations associated with hormonal treatment, genetic risk and psychological issues were considered, but most importantly the experience of men diagnosed and living with male breast cancer were given voice, as Dr Boyages interviewed Mr Herb Wagner, CEO of A Man’s Pink (http://malebreastcancer.ca) and Mr Robert Fincher (Breast Cancer Network Australia).
The stories and experiences shared by Mr Wagner and Mr Fincher were powerful – a call to arms and advocacy for men long overlooked in terms of their informational, social and emotional needs. The description of the isolation and sense of ‘otherness” caused by turning to information booklets and support websites that offer a sea of pink advice on bra fitting and vaginal dryness was impactful, and many of us were left with a new insight and determination to raise awareness amongst colleagues and support groups of the needs of men living with breast cancer. Already in Australia, the power of advocacy is helping redress the balance of unmet need, with Breast Cancer Network Australia working with Mr Fincher and other men affected by breast cancer, to develop relevant and appropriate information and supports. There is no doubt that the inclusion of the voice of those living with male breast cancer in a scientific conference for multidisciplinary professionals committed to advancing cancer care and control was relevant, impactful, and effective. The efficacy of the session was demonstrated in the media interest and the interest of COSA members in this session and in Australia, awareness of the issues of male breast cancer and the needs of men and their families are well and truly on the rise.”
Professor Mei Krishnasamy
Chair in Cancer Nursing|Department of Nursing
University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research
VCCC Research and Education Lead – Cancer Nursing