NBOCC News - June 2010

In this issue...

Message from the CEO, Dr Helen Zorbas

On 15 June the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, announced the intention of the Australian Government to amalgamate National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC) and Cancer Australia from early 2011-12.

The amalgamation of the two agencies will combine the experience and efforts of both organisations to further strengthen the Government’s strategic focus on cancer and create a solid platform for the coordination of cancer research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment initiatives at a national level.

The new Cancer Australia will continue a focus on breast and ovarian cancer as it delivers the Government’s broader cancer programs and research priorities. The amalgamation represents an opportunity to more broadly apply the NBOCC model to improve outcomes for all Australians affected by cancer.

A transition period will begin immediately. This includes a four-week stakeholder consultation period on the focus and shape of the new agency. I encourage you to participate in this consultation and to email your comments and views to cancerconsultation@health.gov.au by 15 July 2010.

During the transition to the single national agency, both Cancer Australia and NBOCC will continue with their current programs of work. All staff will have the opportunity to be part of the strengthened Cancer Australia.

I am delighted and honoured to have been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Cancer Australia, with immediate effect, for a three-year term. I will also continue as CEO of NBOCC during this transition period.

NBOCC is also very pleased to confirm that Professor Olver’s temporary appointment as the Chair of the Board of Directors of NBOCC, announced in March this year, will now continue through the proposed amalgamation transition period.

We trust you will join with us in recognising the significance of this announcement for all who have so generously contributed to the achievements of NBOCC over the past 15 years. We look forward to continuing to work with you in this next exciting phase in national cancer control.

Please click here to view Minister Roxon’s media release.

Dr Helen Zorbas
CEO
NBOCC and Cancer Australia
 

Shared care demonstration sites announced

NBOCC’s Shared care demonstration project aims to trial and evaluate approaches to the delivery of shared care between primary and specialist clinicians for the follow-up of women after completion of hospital-based therapy for early breast cancer.

NBOCC is pleased to announce the four successful demonstration sites selected for the Shared care demonstration project:

  • The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide
  • The Royal Women’s and Western Hospital Consortium, Melbourne
  • Calvary Mater Newcastle
  • Southern Health, Melbourne

Applications to establish a demonstration site were assessed by an independent Site Selection Committee, which considered criteria including desirability of a national spread of sites across jurisdictions, sectors (public and private) and geographic location (rural and metropolitan), and site experience and capacity to implement a locally appropriate approach for the delivery of shared follow-up care.

The evaluation is designed to assess the acceptability, feasibility, cost, and the delivery of the shared care model, and to inform recommendations for the future delivery of shared care.

For more information about the Shared care demonstration project, please contact Georgina Marr (ph. 02 9357 9406).

The Shared care demonstration project is supported by a grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NCBF) Translational Research Funding Program.

New clinical practice recommendations for follow-up care of women with early breast cancer

NBOCC has released its Recommendations for the follow-up of women with early breast cancer to guide health professionals in the management and support of women following completion of active treatment for early breast cancer.

NBOCC recommends comprehensive follow-up care to ensure the early detection of recurrence; to monitor the side effects of treatment; to provide advice about metastatic prevention; and to detect anxiety or distress and ensure the provision of support and appropriate referral.

The new resource provides guidance on appropriate methods for the detection of recurrence, the interval, duration and intensity of follow-up care, the follow-up care provider, and psychosocial care.

An accompanying resource has been developed specifically for general practitioners. Follow-up care for women with early breast cancer: a guide for general practitioners provides a summary of NBOCC’s clinical practice recommendations to assist general practitioners who may manage certain aspects of follow-up care.

To order a hard copy of NBOCC’s Recommendations for follow-up of women with early breast cancer, visit www.nbocc.org.au or call 1800 624 973. The resource is available to download here. The accompanying resource, Follow-up care for women with early breast cancer: a guide for general practitioners is available to download here.

For further information about NBOCC’s new follow-up care resources, please contact Janice Peterson (ph. 02 9357 9415).

Satellite broadcasts for rural health professionals – register now!

In July and August, NBOCC will be holding two satellite broadcasts for rural health professionals in partnership with the Rural Health Education Foundation (RHEF).

Featuring a panel of breast cancer experts and moderated by Dr Norman Swan, the broadcasts will update rural and regional health professionals on the latest advances in the management and support of women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and metastatic breast cancer.

The first broadcast, DCIS: Is it cancer, doctor?, will be held on 27 July 2010. The program will provide information the diagnosis of DCIS, treatment options and the implications for the woman diagnosed.

The second broadcast, Secondary breast cancer: finding breast cancer outside the breast, will be held on 31 August 2010. The program will consider some of the challenges in the management of metastatic (secondary) breast cancer, recent developments in treatment and the psychosocial and supportive care needs of women and their families.

The programs will be broadcast through the RHEF rural satellite network. Programs will be available online in real-time and available for web-streaming after the event.

The satellite broadcasts are accredited as continuing professional development activities with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners.

For further information about the programs, broadcast times or to register for one or both of the satellite broadcasts, click here. For further information, please contact Kevin Comlossy (ph. 02 9357 9478).

Extending information for rural health professionals is a project of the Supporting Women in Rural Areas Diagnosed with Breast Cancer Program, funded by the Australian Government and delivered by NBOCC.

Online breast cancer modules for rural health professional – now live

NBOCC’s online breast cancer education modules for clinicians, nurses and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers in rural and regional Australia are now live.

The three online modules, produced in collaboration with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, address the continuum of breast cancer care after diagnosis:

  1. Breast cancer diagnosis – what now?, presented by Dr Tony Green, Breast Surgeon, Cairns and Dr Geoffrey Beadle, Medical Oncologist, Wesley Medical Centre Brisbane.
  2. Breast cancer treatment – managing the impact, presented by Associate Professor Jane Turner, psychiatrist, University of Queensland School of Medicine.
  3. Breast cancer treatment is over – what’s next?, presented by Dr Julie Thompson, Manager Primary Care, NBOCC.

Each module also features an online discussion forum to enable participants to have any questions they may have answered.

The online modules are accredited as continuing professional development activities with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and the Royal Australasian College of General Practitioners.

For program information or to register for the online modules, click here. For further information, please contact Kevin Comlossy (ph. 02 9357 9478).

Extending information for rural health professionals is a project of the Supporting Women in Rural Areas Diagnosed with Breast Cancer Program, funded by the Australian Government and delivered by NBOCC.

NBOCC Forum: post surgical care for women with early breast cancer

On 2 July 2010, NBOCC will host a Forum to discuss and consider an enhanced model of post-surgical care for women with early breast cancer and associated implications for policy and practice. Forum attendees will include key stakeholders including clinicians involved in post-surgical care, consumers and policy makers.

Facilitated by Dr Norman Swan, the Forum will inform the development of recommendations regarding best practice post-surgical care.

For further information about the event, please contact Caroline Higgins (ph. 02 9357 9408).

Supporting Sisters and Aunties to Survive!

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander breast cancer survivors from far and wide recently gathered at NBOCC’s highly successful Supporting Sisters and Aunties to Survive! Summits in Darwin and Lismore.

The Summits brought together Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with breast cancer, supporters from their communities, and the health professionals who care for them, to learn more about breast cancer and to contribute their voices to the planning of information and support services.

Attendees heard from a range of breast cancer experts on topics ranging from treatment for survival, to returning home, and sources of strength and support.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women experience poorer rates of breast cancer survival than the Australian female population as a whole.

NBOCC’s Supporting Sisters and Aunties to Survive! series will wrap up with the final Summit to be held in Broome in September. For further information or to register for the Broome summit, please contact Hannah Nancarrow (ph. 02 9357 9479).

Improving knowledge and skills of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Health Professionals is a project of the Supporting Women in Rural Areas Diagnosed with Breast Cancer Program, funded by the Australian Government and delivered by NBOCC.

Recent Research – tell us what you think

In November 2009, NBOCC commenced the pilot of a new service for health professionals, Recent Research.

Recent Research is produced by NBOCC to highlight research featured in peer-reviewed publications that may be of interest or potential significance.

We would greatly value your feedback on this new service by completing a short online survey. Please provide your feedback by 5 July 2010.

To view Recent Research, click here.