Every day, more than 30 women across Australia will embark on a new journey when they are told, "You have breast cancer".
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) have now launched the My Journey Kit in New South Wales, a resource developed by women for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer at the Sydney Masonic Centre.
The launch was in response to recent research undertaken by BCNA which indicated that only 47% of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer in NSW received this resource.
The launch was led by a group of prominent breast cancer survivors, including Olympic track & field athlete Raelene Boyle OBE, and Breast Cancer Network Australia CEO Lyn Swinburne.
Breast cancer remains the leading cancer in Australian women. One woman in 11 will develop breast cancer at some point in her life. Over 11,500 new cases of the disease are being diagnosed each year and while breast cancer death rates have levelled off, the incidence of breast cancer is increasing at over two per cent a year.
The My Journey Kit is a result of involvement and close consultation with thousands of breast cancer survivors, and a wide range of health professionals and organisations across the country. It signposts breast cancer information, contacts, services and support. It contains information on a range of topics, from emotional survival, physical well-being, help for partners and families, the importance of a multi-disciplinary medical team, treatments, practical advice about what to take to hospital, returning home and going back to work, and financial issues.
My Journey Kit includes a comprehensive index of key national and State resources and where to access them, and is full of direct quotes from women who have shared their experiences. A key component of the Kit is a journal for recording medical appointments and tests, treatments, professional and support contacts, and questions and notes. This encourages women to take an active role in their health care.
With the assistance of private donors and corporate support from Bakers Delight, Australia Post, the KAZ Group and the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, BCNA make the Kit available – free of charge – to every Australian newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
BCNA is a national organisation of women who have had breast cancer and works to inform, empower, represent and link together Australians personally affected by breast cancer. Women newly diagnosed with breast cancer can request a copy of the My Journey Kit by phoning 1300 785 562 from anywhere in Australia for the cost of a local call.