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Booklets and fact sheets

BCNA produces a range of free booklets and fact sheets for those with breast cancer, and their families. These are listed below. 

Booklets

Breast cancer and sexual wellbeing
Exercise and breast cancer
Fertility-related choices: A decision aid for younger women 
Helping a friend or colleague with breast cancer
Healthy eating and breast cancer
Hormone therapy and breast cancer
I wish I could fix it: Supporting a partner through breast cancer  
Medikidz: explaining breast cancer through comic adventures (8-12 years)
Men get breast cancer too
Menopause and breast cancer
Metastatic breast cancer: an introduction
Understanding metastatic breast cancer: a comic book for children 8-12 years old

Fact sheets

Anxiety, depression and breast cancer
Feeling sad or worried (the Easy English version of the Anxiety, depression and breast cancer fact sheet) 
GP Mental Health Treatment Plan
Beware Dr Google: A guide to reliable breast cancer information on the internet
Bone health and breast cancer
Bone health and breast cancer (Easy English version) 
Breast cancer pathology
Caring for someone with early breast cancer: what to expect and how to help
Clinical trials
Chronic disease management plans
Easy English: Life after breast cancer
Easy English: Keep breast cancer away 
Family history
Fear of cancer recurrence 
Financial and practical assistance
Hair loss during breast cancer treatment
Lymphoedema
Lymphoedema (Easy English version) 
Patient Assisted Transport Schemes (PATS)
Sleepless nights: Breast cancer and sleep
Sleepless nights: Breast cancer and sleep (Easy English version) 
Superannuation and insurance payments for people with a terminal illness
Travel insurance
Understanding breast cancer: information for carers of a person with a disability
You’re important too: looking after yourself as a carer

Booklets

Breast cancer and sexual wellbeing

Breast cancer and its treatment can affect sexual wellbeing in many different ways. This booklet outlines practical strategies to help address issues such as the loss of desire, the physical symptoms of menopause including vaginal dryness, building and rebuilding emotional and physical intimacy with a partner, talking to a health professional about sexual wellbeing concerns, and finding additional information and support.

Download now | Order hard copy

Exercise and breast cancer

Research shows that staying active during and after treatment for breast cancer provides many benefits, including reducing the risk of breast cancer coming back, and improved physical and emotional wellbeing. This booklet has been designed to help you continue with a regular exercise program if you have one already, or get started if you don’t. The content covers the benefits of exercise, recommended exercise targets, practical tips to help you stay motivated, and an exercise diary where you can keep track of your achievements. Exercise programs that may be available locally are also included. If you’re struggling to get started with exercise during or after treatment, this booklet might help.

Download now | Order hard copy

Fertility-related choices: A decision aid for younger women

This booklet is for young women who have been recently diagnosed with early breast cancer. It includes information about the ways breast cancer treatment may affect fertility, the fertility options that can be considered and guidance with decision-making through a workbook-based process. This booklet may be helpful if you are still of reproductive age (having regular periods and no menopausal symptoms), and are thinking of starting a family or having more children in the future.

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Helping a friend or colleague with breast cancer

Friends can be a wonderful source of emotional and practical support following a breast cancer diagnosis, but sometimes people are unsure of the best way to help. In this booklet, women who have had breast cancer share what they have found helpful and unhelpful, and the practical things that can help. There is also a section particularly for the workplace that provides some helpful suggestions for managers and workplace colleagues.

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Healthy eating and breast cancer

Maintaining a healthy diet can be difficult at the best of times, but it can be especially challenging if you are having treatment for breast cancer and not feeling well. Developed in consultation with dieticians and other health professionals, this booklet is designed to help you maintain a healthy diet, both during and after treatment. It includes information on the types of foods you should include in your diet, tips to help you eat well when you're not feeling well, and a food diary to help you keep track of what you are eating.

Our Healthy eating and breast cancer booklet has also been translated into Traditional Chinese and is available to download here

Download now | Order hard copy

Hormone therapy and breast cancer

Hormone therapies are drugs are used to treat breast cancers that are hormone receptor positive. If you are currently taking hormone therapy (e.g. tamoxifen, anastrozole, letrozole or exemestane) as part of your breast cancer treatment, this booklet will provide information on how these drugs work and why they are beneficial. It also discusses the possible side effects that some women experience and provides practical advice and tips on how to manage them.

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I wish I could fix it: Supporting a partner through breast cancer

This booklet aims to help male and female partners of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last 12 months. The booklet includes information on breast cancer and its treatments, how partners can provide support, and practical tips to deal with some of the common challenges that they may face. The booklet also includes information resources and counselling services available to partners.

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Medikidz: explaining breast cancer through comic adventures (8-12 years)

Bill’s mum is going back to work, but Bill is worried about her breast cancer coming back. The Medikidz come to the rescue to help Bill better understand his mum’s condition by taking him on an adventure through Mediland.

Bill’s mum is just one of millions of people who are living with medical conditions that they find hard to explain to children. The MEDIKIDZ explain breast cancer comic helps both children and parents understand a difficult topic in an engaging way. The comic content has been reviewed by breast cancer specialists.

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Men get breast cancer too

This booklet is for men who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. It provides information about the disease, treatments, and some of the common challenges men experience after a breast cancer diagnosis. It also lists resources and counselling services available for men diagnosed with breast cancer.

Download now | Order hard copy

Menopause and breast cancer

This booklet is for women who are experiencing menopause and/or menopausal symptoms as a result of their breast cancer treatment. It explains why some treatments, including chemotherapy and hormone therapy, may cause menopause or mimic menopausal symptoms. It also includes practical advice, tips for managing symptoms and where to get additional information.

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Metastatic breast cancer: an introduction

Most people feel devastated when they are told they have metastatic breast cancer. Many will have lived through the trauma of being diagnosed and treated for early breast cancer and may have believed they were cured. For others a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer might be the first time they have experienced breast cancer. This brief information booklet has been developed to provide the key facts about metastatic breast cancer and hope, as the condition is very treatable, with many people living for years with their cancer under control. 

Download now

Understanding metastatic breast cancer: a comic book for children 8-12 years old

Understanding metastatic breast cancer is a comic for children aged 8-12 years of age. In it, the Medikidz superhero characters take two children on an adventure through the human body to learn about what happens after a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. 

Order hard copy

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Fact sheets

Anxiety, depression and breast cancer

Stress, anxiety, sadness and anger are common feelings following a breast cancer diagnosis. However, if these feelings are intense or continue for a long time, or if you’re struggling to function from day to day, you may be experiencing anxiety or depression. This fact sheet, developed by BCNA and beyondblue, explains the links between anxiety, depression and breast cancer, the signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, current treatments and how to help yourself or someone close to you.

Download now | Order hard copy

Feeling sad or worried (the Easy English version of the Anxiety, depression and breast cancer fact sheet) 

This is the Easy English version of the Anxiety, depression and breast cancer fact sheet. Easy English combines text and images to convey information clearly. Easy English resources are suitable for those who may have reading difficulties. 

Download now | Order hard copy

GP Mental Health Treatment Plan 

Sometimes a diagnosis of breast cancer can lead to ongoing emotional issues that can interfere with your quality of life and your ability to live well and interact with family and friends. This might include anxiety, ongoing sadness, a feeling of hopelessness, stress or depression. If you are experiencing emotional concerns and you think that you would benefit from some professional ongoing support, you can speak to your GP about whether a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan might be appropriate for you. This fact sheet includes more information about a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan, and some commonly asked question about it.

Download now | Order hard copy

Beware Dr Google: A guide to reliable breast cancer information on the internet

Women tell us that when they are first diagnosed with breast cancer, they often turn to the internet looking for answers to their questions. While there is a lot of high quality information about breast cancer available online, there is also information that is out-of-date, inaccurate or unhelpful. Sometimes, it can be hard to tell the difference. This fact sheet provides a list of reliable Australian and international websites that offer good quality information about breast cancer, along with a summary of the content on each website. The digital (downloadable) version of the fact sheet provides clickable links to each of the sites and sections discussed.

Download now | Order hard copy

Bone health and breast cancer

BCNA's Bone health and breast cancer fact sheet explains the impact breast cancer treatments can have on your bones and provides some tips to help you maintain or improve your bone health during and after treatment.

Download now | Order hard copy

Bone health and breast cancer (Easy English version) 

This is the Easy English version of the Bone health and breast cancer fact sheet. Easy English combines text and images to convey information clearly. Easy English resources are suitable for those who may have reading difficulties. 

Download now | Order hard copy

Breast cancer pathology

We know pathology reports can be confusing, and that sometimes doctors don't discuss their content. You may not have seen your pathology report or had a chance to ask questions about it. This fact sheet, produced in partnership with the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA), provides information on what is included in a pathology report, what the terminology means, and how you can obtain a copy of your report, even years after your treatment has finished. You can also download the Glossary of pathology terms, which will help you understand the terminology in your report.

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Caring for someone with early breast cancer: what to expect and how to help

Many Australians diagnosed with breast cancer will have carers in their lives. Carers can be a spouse or partner, a parent, daughters or sons, sisters or brothers, friends, colleagues, or neighbours. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a carer, your role in helping someone with breast cancer is significant, valuable and important. This fact sheet will:

  • provide useful tips and information to help you support and care for someone with breast cancer
  • guide you through some of the common concerns and feelings that you might experience when becoming a carer for someone with breast cancer.

Download now

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are research studies that involve patients to help find better treatments. In breast cancer, there are clinical trials for a range of treatments (including prevention). The clinical trials fact sheet looks at why we need clinical trials, who runs them, how patients are protected and how you can get involved.

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Chronic disease management plans

Chronic disease management plans are useful for anyone with a chronic medical condition, including cancer, who will benefit from an organised approach to their health care. They may also allow you to receive a Medicare rebate for up to five visits per calendar year to allied health practitioners identified in the plan. This fact sheet gives an overview of chronic disease management plans, including GP Management Plans (GPMPs) and Team Care Arrangements (TCAs).

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Easy English: Life after breast cancer

Life after breast cancer explains the range of emotions you may be feeling after you have finished active treatment, and contains tips on how to improve your health and wellbeing. This fact sheet is in Easy English. Easy English combines text and images to convey information clearly. Easy English resources are suitable for those who may have reading difficulties. 

Download now | Order hard copy

Easy English: Keep breast cancer away 

Keep breast cancer away provides advice on how to reduce breast cancer recurrence. This fact sheet in in Easy English. Easy English combines text and images to convey information clearly. Easy English resources are suitable for those who may have reading difficulties. 

Download now | Order hard copy

Family history

Only 5% to 10% of breast cancers occur in women whose families have a genetic fault. Most breast cancers have nothing to do with family history. The family history fact sheet explains when family history may be important in breast cancer risk and the options available if you have concerns about a strong family history.

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Fear of cancer recurrence 

Many people who have had breast cancer worry that their cancer may one day come back (recur). This is a very normal response to a cancer diagnosis. It is called fear of cancer recurrence: the fear or worry that cancer could come back or progress. This fact sheet provides information on fear of cancer recurrence for people who have been diagnosed with early breast cancer; their partners, families, friends, and colleagues; and others who support people with early breast cancer.

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Financial and practical assistance

This fact sheet outlines a range of benefits, subsidies and services that may be available to help reduce the financial impact of a diagnosis of breast cancer. It is designed to be used by women and their supporters, including family members, carers, friends and support groups. Topics covered include navigating the system (as a public or private patient), how to make the most of your GP, federal and state government assistance, community assistance, superannuation and insurance, employment, childcare and sources of legal assistance.

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Hair loss during breast cancer treatment

Because it's visible to others, hair loss (alopecia) can be one of the more distressing aspects of treatment for breast cancer. This fact sheet has been developed with input from women who have experienced hair loss from cancer treatment. It explains how to prepare yourself for hair loss or hair thinning, steps you can take to reduce its impact, and supports and services that can help. Topics covered include talking with others about how you feel, communicating with children about hair loss, reducing hair loss with scalp cooling systems, dealing with eyelash and eyebrow loss, and self-care strategies for managing hair loss.

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Lymphoedema

Treatment for breast cancer may involve removal of lymph nodes from your armpit (axilla) during surgery. This puts the arm on that side of the body at risk of developing lymphoedema (swelling of the arm). The lymphoedema fact sheet provides information about lymphoedema, including tips to reduce your risk of developing lymphoedema, managing symptoms, travelling with lymphoedema, and state-based subsidies available for compression garments.

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Lymphoedema (Easy English version)

This is the Easy English version of the Lymphoedema fact sheet. Easy English combines text and images to convey information clearly. Easy English resources are suitable for those who may have reading difficulties. 

Download now | Order hard copy

Patient Assisted Transport Schemes (PATS)

Patient Assisted Transport Schemes provide people in rural and remote areas of Australia with financial assistance towards the costs of travelling to specialist medical services for treatment. This fact sheet provides general information about each state and territory transport scheme and how they operate.

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Sleepless nights: Breast cancer and sleep

Having trouble sleeping is very common following a breast cancer diagnosis. The worry of the diagnosis itself, as well as some of the treatments, can make sleeping difficult. This fact sheet provides information about sleep, tips and strategies that may be helpful if you are having trouble sleeping, and resources and supports that are available.

Download now | Order hard copy

Sleepless nights (Easy English version) 

This is the Easy English version of the Sleepless nights: breast cancer and sleep fact sheet. Easy English combines text and images to convey information clearly. Easy English resources are suitable for those who may have reading difficulties. 

Download now | Order hard copy

Superannuation and insurance payments for people with a terminal illness

Accessing superannuation early is a sensitive and complex decision for you and your family. This fact sheet provides up-to-date and straightforward information to assist you in making the decision that's right for you and your family. It also provides help with working your way through a process that can be complicated and frustrating.

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Travel insurance

These two fact sheets – Travel insurance after early breast cancer and Travel insurance with metastatic breast cancer – provide information on the most common questions you might have about obtaining travel insurance after a diagnosis of breast cancer. They are designed to help you decide what questions you should ask about your travel insurance, including what is and is not covered, the definition of pre-existing conditions, and countries where Australian travellers may be covered by another health system (Reciprocal Health Care Agreements).

There is also an additional fact sheet that provides information on the process to follow if you want to make a complaint about your travel insurance.

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Understanding breast cancer: information for carers of a person with a disability

This fact sheet provides a basic understanding of breast cancer for carers of a person with a disability. It also provides information on some of the ways that your role might change when the person you are caring for has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Download now Order hard copy

You’re important too: looking after yourself as a carer

This fact sheet provides information to help support you in your role as carer. It also provides tips on looking after yourself.

Download now | Order hard copy

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