Cancer Connections

Beating Cancer in the Highlands ... This column is brought to you regularly by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee and is first published in the Lifestyle section of the Southern Highland News. It is designed to inform everybody of matters relating to cancer in our local community and the wider society. We aim to focus on local news, forthcoming events, services and other cancer issues.

Cancer Connections - Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

At present, the Council policy for smoking (or not smoking) in public areas is limited to childrens’ playgrounds. There is talk of a new policy being written by Council to cover the issue of smoking, and we at the SHCLC believe the no smoking areas should go further, at least to cover sporting fields and facilities as well as Council parks and reserves. We unfortunately don’t have a time line on this but will keep you informed as soon as we hear.

The Cancer Council NSW’s Volunteer In Home Support Scheme (VIHS) is now up and ready to operate. Seven volunteers have been trained up by the Cancer Council with the aim to provide cancer patients help around the house. This might include some light house work, preparing meals, reading and writing, really anything that will help the patient to lead a normal life. For those who would like this support, or who would like to volunteer, please contact the volunteer co-ordinator, Maggie Churchward on  0428 681 926 or email

The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee is also very pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Cancer Council NSW to put together a cancer web-site specific to this area. This is very exciting and something we are now working on as we believe it will be a wonderful tool for both cancer sufferers, carers and doctors alike. It is due to be complete in June this year.

Our 3rd edition of the Cancer Services Directory is currently being printed and is due out towards the end of the month. The feed back from this little directory has been wonderful and a huge thank you to the Southern Highlands News and all those who have helped to support it. In fact, I am pleased to say that the concept is now being used by other Cancer Network Committees in other areas. I hope it is as successful and as appreciated by others!

Cancer Council are now offering an interest free loan to cancer patients and their families to the amount of $1200 to be re-paid over 18 months. This is only provided currently out of our Greater Western Sydney Regional office with the view to roll this out across region later in year, so at this stage they need to travel to this office to apply. The office is located at 43 Hunter St Parramatta. Phone contact 93542000. It can be used for items such as purchase of white goods, household goods, travel to treatment, car repairs/rego, Accommodation when traveling to treatment, mortgage repayments( must be final payment of amount near loan amount), non PBS listed drugs, closure of funeral bills


Third Wed - Cancer Support Group. 7pm Henrietta Rose Room. Contact Jann
each month Wadsworth 48693830. This week guest speaker medical oncologist Assoc Prof Stephen Della-Fiorentina
Feb 25th Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory 3rd Edition available

May 28th Cancer Council NSW “Living Well After Cancer” Location tba

“Did you know….”
Doctors are being urged to give cancer patients an exercise "prescription" to aid their recovery, following new American guidelines which mark a shift away from the usual advice for people to rest.

Jonathan Purvis (Chair - SHCLC)


Cancer Connections - Dec 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I realise it has been a while since Relay for Life took place in a snowy, windy, rainy Southern Highlands, but what a huge success! In excess of $250,000 was raised by this tight knit community. A really fantastic result and something we should all be extremely proud of. People really do care about cancer in the Highlands…. Roll on the next one!!

Although Cancer Connections has been a bit less frequent than usual (apologies… usual work has got in the way!) much is still going on in the back ground to continue to fight this insidious disease and make life as pleasant as possible for those who are suffering.

The Cancer Council NSW has been working hard on a programme to give general help to people suffering from cancer called the Volunteer In Home Support service. The aim for this service is to help cancer patients with day to day chores, such as shopping, collecting prescriptions, light housework, writing letters – all the things we take for granted but can make such a difference to those in need. A training day took place last week and 7 volunteers are eager to help out. The programme is due to start on 10th January next year.

A new Clinical Trial is now available at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre looking to see if we can prevent the development of breast cancer in women who have been through the menopause who are at a higher risk of developing the disease. Women with a family history of breast cancer, previous benign breast lumps and other risk factors may be eligible for participation. The IBIS 2 trial is enrolling women all around the world and the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group have now included the Southern Highlands as a site. Women interested can call Freecall 1800 640 709 or call Lisa Ellis, Clinical Trials Nurse on 4861 2177 for more information or visit

Earlier this year, the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee applied for a grant through Cancer Council NSW to establish a web-site pertinent to cancer and cancer related services in our region. WELL, I am very pleased to announce that our application was successful and we will receive funding from the Cancer Council, which is very exciting. The aim of the web-site is to have ALL the information concerning cancer to hand at the click of a button, hopefully a prototype for other areas as well.

It has been a while since the 2nd edition was issued, and we always said we would update early next year… the Southern Highlands Cancer Directory. If you feel that you, or your business is of benefit to those suffering from cancer OR of benefit to the wonderful carers, please let us know by emailing Judy Mawbey ( so you can be included in the directory as a regular listing. If you would like to advertise in the directory which not only gives great publicity but helps towards covering the production costs, please email Natalie at

On a personal note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of the wonderful committee who work with me behind the scenes and get the job done. Without them, there would be very little achieved… so THANK YOU.

Have a very Happy and Safe Christmas and look out for more Cancer Connections in the New Year!!

Third Wed - Cancer Support Group. 7pm Henrietta Rose Room. Contact Jann
each month Wadsworth 48693830.

Dec 25th Christmas Day …. Yeah!!

“Did you know….”
Australians acknowledge their high risk of developing skin cancer, and yet research shows they are unlikely to act on this knowledge. A study conducted by Cancer Council Australia has found almost half of adult Australians (46 per cent) think it likely they will develop skin cancer. Yet in the past 12 months, 40 per cent of men and 36 per cent of women did not check their own skin for suspicious mole activity, or have a GP or loved one do it for them. The research also found that more than three million Australians rarely or never use sun protection. The health push was backed by cricketer Michael Clarke, who has had three small skin cancers removed from his face.

Jonathan Purvis (Chair - SHCLC)


Cancer Connections - Sept 2010

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

There is a buzz in the air in the Southern Highlands at the moment and it all has to do with beating cancer! The Cancer Council’s Relay for Life is in full swing and set to be a wonderful event to raise as much money as possible to go towards research as well as local support services. The Cancer Council is aiming to spend an enormous $15 million on research this year and as there is no financial support by the government, every dollar of that is donated by people like you and me… research IS so important; after all, no cancer is better than cancer.

If you would like to be part of Relay for Life and put a team in, or join up with someone elses team, then visit and follow the prompts to the Southern Highlands Relay 2010.

Not only does Relay raise much needed funding for the Cancer Council, it is an amazing community event, bringing people together from all walks of life. It is not often that you see a community get together like this.

As a pre-cursor to the Relay, another fantastic event is taking place in Bowral. On September 25th and 25th, Michael Poulos and Tristan Whitehill are going to be attempting to break the Guinness World Record for the longest ever tennis match. They will be starting on the Friday morning at 6.30am and finishing on the Saturday night the next day, all in aid of cancer. There will be a breakfast on the Friday morning put on by Southern Highlands Landscape Supplies, a pizza night for the kids on Friday night, a champagne breakfast vintage tennis comp on the Saturday morning finishing off with a cocktail party on the Saturday night (tickets required) with guests of honour, Alan Jones AO and tennis legend, Ken Rosewall. If you would like to be part of the festivities over the week end, or purchase tickets to the cocktail party on the Saturday night, please contact me! It is not often you get the opportunity to meet two Australian icons and hopefully see a world record broken!!

On another note, community speakers are available through the Cancer Council NSW to meet with local organisations, clubs, societies, sporting teams and workplace groups who wish to know more about cancer. Modern presentations designed by the Cancer Council can be made by volunteer community speakers on a range of issues, including cancer of the breast, prostate, bowel or brain; SunSmart programs; tobacco smoking; and encouraging a healthy lifestyle for parents.

If your group in the Southern Highlands is interested in having a free presentation, all you need to do is telephone the Southern Region office of Cancer Council at Wollongong on 4223 0200 and ask for the Community Speaker Co-ordinator to get in touch.

  • Third Wed - Cancer Support Group. 7pm Henrietta Rose Room. Contact Jann
    each month Wadsworth 48693830.
  • Sept 24th/25th Tennis World Record at Bowral Tennis Centre
  • Oct 16th/17th Relay for Life

“Did you know….”
Nothing to do with cancer… but did you know the world record for the longest tennis match currently stands at 36 hours, 36 minutes and 36 seconds!

Jonathan Purvis (Chair - SHCLC)


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