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BCNA News 11 Oct 2019

BCNA welcomes launch of Cancer Australia’s new metastatic breast cancer best practice Statement

After the successful launch of Cancer Australia’s – Influencing best practice for Australians with breast cancer Statement in 2016, BCNA is pleased to have been able to work with Cancer Australia to develop the new Influencing best practice in metastatic breast cancer Statement.

We know Australians living with metastatic breast cancer need strong support, information and access to treatment and supportive care. But our members often report significant frustration and disappointment about the gaps and disparity of care that exist in meeting those needs.

The Cancer Australia best practice Statement aims to deliver better care across the health continuum and ensure people living with metastatic breast cancer know what their treatment options are and are involved in the decisions around that treatment.

The Statement also acknowledges that multidisciplinary care is particularly important for people with metastatic breast cancer due to their complex management and supportive care needs. Effective, sensitive communication in a culturally safe environment, and a patient-centred individualised approach are key elements of care.

The Statement highlights 10 key appropriate and inappropriate metastatic breast cancer practices to ensure that patients receive consistent breast cancer care.

Some of the practices in the Statement include that it is:

  • Appropriate for patients to have access to effective pain and symptom management and psychosocial support, including multidisciplinary supportive and palliative care services.
  • Appropriate for patients to be offered participation in suitable and relevant clinical trials from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.
  • Appropriate to offer biopsy of accessible metastases to assess biological markers (such as oestrogen and progesterone receptors, and HER2 status), and to offer germline genetic testing for BRCA1/2, if the result is likely to lead to a change in the management of patients.
  • Appropriate to involve a multidisciplinary team to consider evidence-based anti-cancer and supportive therapies.

As part of the launch of the statement, Cancer Australia has produced a suite of videos. We are thrilled that the videos feature three of our BCNA champions with metastatic breast cancer – Marie Pandeloglou, Julia Domigan and Kim Parish – who have used their voices and experiences to support the Statement.

BCNA Consumer Representatives Kim Parish and the late Christie Wood were also members of Cancer Australia’s Expert Group guiding the development of the Statement. We thank them for their incredible contribution to this important project.

BCNA hopes the Statement will drive practice change so that all Australians receive the information and support they need to work through complex and sensitive decisions about treatment and care.

Click here to read more about the Cancer Australia - Influencing best practice in metastatic breast cancer Statement and to watch the videos.