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Media releases 13 Oct 2016

New Hope & Hurdles launched in Sydney

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) has today released a new edition of Hope & Hurdles, a free information resource for women and men living with metastatic breast cancer.

Hope and Hurdles

The free resource has been updated to keep up with treatment innovations and provide more personalised information to ensure people living with metastatic breast cancer have information that is relevant to them.

The new edition of Hope & Hurdles has been launched at BCNA’s free information forum in Sydney today, on Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. Women living with metastatic disease attending the forum will be able to order the new edition of Hope & Hurdles from BCNA.

There are thousands of Australians living with metastatic breast cancer and around 3,000 people every year will die of this disease.

Some women will find out they have metastatic breast cancer despite having had treatment for early breast cancer. For others, metastatic breast cancer might be their first diagnosis. Of the 16,084 Australians diagnosed with early breast cancer, statistics show that around one in 20 people will find out they have metastatic breast cancer as a first diagnosis.

Metastatic breast cancer occurs when the cancer spreads from the original site in the breast to another part of the body, such as the bones, liver, lungs and more rarely the brain.

BCNA CEO Christine Nolan said people living with metastatic breast cancer have different emotional needs from those diagnosed with early breast cancer.

“People with metastatic breast cancer have much more complex treatment decisions to make and a poorer prognosis than those with early breast cancer, yet they tend to have less access to information and support specific to their individual needs,” Christine said.

“The new edition of Hope & Hurdles has new chapters that have been designed to better meet the individual needs of people living with metastatic disease, and includes dedicated chapters for young women, men and people who have received a metastatic diagnosis as their first diagnosis,” she said.

“If you are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer as your first diagnosis, you are not only finding out you have breast cancer for the first time, you are also finding out you have a type of breast cancer that is incurable.”

Hope & Hurdles is available free of charge to anyone in Australia living with metastatic breast cancer and can be ordered online.

Earlier this year BCNA commenced a free telephone counselling service for people across the country living with metastatic breast cancer. The counselling is provided by experienced oncology counsellors, and is also open to family members of people with metastatic breast cancer.

“We know that breast cancer does not just happen to an individual woman, it has a ripple effect on partners, children and other family members. BCNA’s one-on-one confidential phone service aims to help people cope with a range of concerns they may be experiencing, such as anxiety about the future, concerns about their loved ones and financial pressures,” Christine said.

To make an appointment to speak with an experienced professional oncology counsellor, call 1800 500 258 or email beacon@bcna.org.au.