While attending the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia’s annual conference to participate in our first male breast cancer (MBC) session on the Gold Coast of Australia November 15-18, 2016, I was very fortunate to be introduced and spend time with Kathy Wells, Head of Policy, Research and Advocacy and her staff from Breast Cancer Network Australia. It was amazing to learn that as we enter the 21st century, Australia is leading the way in promoting male breast cancer awareness and the support for men diagnosed with breast cancer. Their innovative efforts and allotment of part of their annual budget to the promotion and support of MBC should be used by breast cancer organizations globally as a template for the advancement and treatment of men diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is the peak national organisation for Australians personally affected by breast cancer. BCNA represents more than 120,000 individual members and 300 Member Groups from across Australia. BCNA works to ensure that Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best support, information, treatment and care appropriate to their individual needs.
BCNA supports men diagnosed with breast cancer through:
• Providing high quality information resources developed specifically for men, including our booklet Men Get Breast Cancer Too. These resources are informed by input from health professionals, and from men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
• Improving emotional support for newly diagnosed men by linking men with peer supports, and providing information on support services.
• Consulting with men to identify unmet and emerging needs.
• Improving community awareness of male breast cancer through public events, conferences, media, and social media coverage.
• Improving men’s participation and inclusion through consumer representation and advocacy, including building and maintaining links with male members who are active in promoting breast cancer awareness in their communities.
For more information please visit www.bcna.org.au