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 - May 2018

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea

As we head through May each year, we look towards the annual Cancer Council BMT. I don’t know how long Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea has been running, but it’s become a permanent fixture of the calendar and an enjoyable way for community groups to come together over a “cuppa”. Fundraising can be an arduous task sometimes so it makes good sense to have an event which is a pleasure to do and yet raises funds for a needy cause. The Cancer Centre within the Southern Highlands Private Hospital will be holding their BMT on two mornings : Thursday, May 24 and Friday, May 25.










May is also the month for …
It’s wonderful to see so much activity by Australians wishing to heighten our awareness about so many different medical conditions. One of the most popular ways to gain publicity, and a most successful way to help raise funds for things like research, education and treatment, is to designate a particular month in which to highlight the malady concerned. We now seem, however, to be reaching a point where it is becoming just a little crazy. Take this month for instance : May is the designated month for raising awareness of all of the following health issues : thyroid; Crohn’s & colitis; lung health; neurofibromatosis; domestic and family violence; epilepsy; cystic fibrosis; and premature babies too. The field is starting to look a little crowded with this many issues vying for attention and for the charity dollar. But, you might ask, what else can we do ? All those issues are deserving of attention and support. At least there are lots of people willing to get up and do something about them.

Cancer Services Directory 2018
Our Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory for 2018 will now be published in the Friday June 15th issue of the Southern Highland News. This edition, our 10th, will have as its focus the important theme of blood cancers and will feature a number of articles especially written for us around that topic. The flip-style A5 booklet, with the Health Guide at the other end, is issued free as part of the paper’s program of special publications.

“Stars of the Highlands Dance for Cancer”

Last year’s initial event was so successful that there is great enthusiasm for the forthcoming 2018 performance. Southern Highlands celebrities will provide the dance entertainment for this Cancer Council fundraiser which will give valuable support for cancer patients in our district. In 2017, proceeds provided a new car for the use of the GAPS program which sees volunteer drivers transport local cancer patients to their treatment. Kelly Dinnerville, Cancer Council’s organiser of the event, says that the venue will again be Mittagong RSL for 6pm on May 18th. 

 Unfortunately, tickets are no longer available : SOLD OUT.


Coming Events
• Rotary BowelCare test kits available - $15 from local pharmacies during May
• “Stars of the Highlands Dance for Cancer” event, Mittagong RSL, Fri. May 18
• National Palliative Care Week is May 20-26
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. May 22 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, May 23

• Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea can be held Thurs May 24 or other nearby days

• Cancer Centre BMT is on Friday morning, May 25
• May 31 is always World No Tobacco Day

• Can Assist Meeting at Mittagong RSL Club, 10am, Tues. June 12  Please note the change of venue.

• Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory for 2018 will be available free in the issue of the Southern Highland News on Fri. June 15
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month with Red Apple Day on the 20th

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - May 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Cancer Services Directory 2017 now available

Did you miss out on a copy of this year’s Directory ? Don’t worry. A hard copy of the booklet can be obtained from the Cancer Centre within the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. As was done last year, the booklet also can be flipped to the other end to give a copy of the Health Guide as well. So, two for one. Our theme for this issue of the Directory is the important topic of palliative care with a number of articles specially written for the theme. You will also find information there about the efforts being made across the state to increase the resources allocated to this field. For those who like to access information online, our Directory is now also available as a Fairfax special publication. You will find a link to it on the Directory page of this website or it can be viewed at the Fairfax site : click here  


‘I Care for Palliative Care’ meeting 
Over 50 people attended the Bowral ‘I Care for Palliative Care’ meeting which was convened by Margaret Mogg. Those present heard from Jane Mahony, a local palliative care nurse now in private practice, who explained palliative care and how important it is. Carolyn Grenville from Cancer Council’s Sydney office outlined what the campaign was about and why NSW needs more specialist doctors and specialist nurses in the palliative care field and culturally appropriate Aboriginal services. Matt Aiken, a local resident, spoke movingly of the help he and his wife received from LHD palliative care staff when his wife had terminal breast cancer. Many more pledges of support for palliative care were signed on the day. The MP for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell, was unwell and could not attend but the call for more resources in this field has been conveyed to him. The link to the video clip that was shown at the meeting is www.canact.com.au/palliativecare

“Connecting the Future” seminar

Again on the same theme, this event has been organised for Palliative Care Week (May 21-27) by the Southern Highlands Community Hospice committee. Speakers will include Dr Yvonne McMaster OAM, retired palliative care specialist, and Jane Mahony, a senior nurse consultant, Palliative and Aged Care Consultancy Services. The venue will be St Jude’s Auditorium, Bendooley Street, Bowral, and it takes place on Tuesday, May 23, 9.30am-12pm. Entry is free but book, for catering purposes, at one of the Hospice shops or online at www.shchospice.org.au/news


Coming Events
• Dance for Cancer, Mittagong RSL, 6-11.45pm, May 19. Tickets must be purchased at the Club or by calling 4872 6700.
• National Palliative Care Week will be May 21-27.

• “Connecting the Future” Palliative Care Week forum, St Jude’s, 9.30am-12pm, May 23

• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at SH Private Hospital, 10-11.30 am, Tues. May 23. RSVP Katie on 4862 9400
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. May 24
• Biggest Morning Tea (BMT) will be held on Thurs. May 25 or other dates nearby
• Southern Highlands Cancer Centre’s BMT is Fri. May 26, 10am-2pm
• World No Tobacco Day is always May 31
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness month

• Can Assist meeting June 13th, 10am. Note new venue : BDCU, Bong Bong St, Bowral.


Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - May/June 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Do you know about Palliative Care ?
Palliative care is a type of health care provided to those individuals whose illness cannot be cured. It helps the individual to live as well as possible while managing their illness. Palliative care maintains quality of life by controlling physical symptoms – pain, nausea and many others. It also looks at the emotional, social and/or spiritual needs of the individual. It supports the person who is dying and their carers and family. It can be used at any stage during the illness after curative treatment has stopped. Palliative care can be provided in the community for individuals at home, in acute hospitals, inpatient palliative care units and residential aged care. Referrals to community palliative care in the Wingecarribee can be made by telephoning The Triple I Hub on 1800 455 511. National Palliative Care Week 2016 is May 22-28 and there is an event at Bowral and District Hospital, May 27, from about 9am.

Social Worker needed
We heard at the May meeting of our committee that Wingecarribee Community Health would benefit greatly from having a trained social worker give them some time. We all understand how much the care provided by a skilled social worker can relieve a great deal of stress for someone with a cancer diagnosis. If you see yourself helping here - especially if you have had experience in palliative care – please ring Carolyn Le Compte on 4861 8000.

Can Assist needs a Treasurer
While on the issue of important people being needed : do you have the skills to be the Treasurer for a dynamic local charity ? Do you have the desire to make a real contribution to improving the welfare of cancer patients ? The local branch of Can Assist is looking for an Honorary Treasurer to keep their books. Looking after their accounts is a most important role in an organisation which receives substantial sums from so many generous local donors. 
If you can help, ring the Branch Secretary on 0414 865 521.


Transporting Patients

There is a constant need for cancer patients to be driven to various locations when they cannot do it themselves. During April, for instance, the Southern Highlands Patient Transport Service took 68 people to Campbelltown for their cancer treatment. This bus is provided by Cancer Council NSW and is staffed completely by volunteer drivers. It does the run every weekday picking up at Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong and points further north. Full details are on this website : just click on the Local Services tab above. In addition, the General and Practical Support service (GAPS) drives patients to their consultations or to meet the bus. That service has 60 bookings already for May and that was only up to the 11th of the month. In April, 15 people were assisted by the GAPS program and they clocked up nearly 3000 kms in that month. For more information : just click on the Local Services tab above.


If you are interested in volunteering to help out in either of these valuable services, Sally Hudson at Cancer Council NSW would like to hear from you. Her number is 4223 0205.


BowelCare Program 2016
Rotary are again distributing kits for bowel screening to pharmacies throughout our district. As was the case last year, the BowelCare Australia kits will use the updated technology of a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) to screen for occult blood. The new kits are still available from all participating pharmacies in the Southern Highlands during May. The $15 cost for each kit covers pathology testing and notification of results to both you and your nominated doctor. Full instructions are included within the kit package.

Coming Events
• The Cancer Centre has a Biggest Morning Tea at SH Private Hospital May 19th & 20th.
• National Palliative Care Week is May 22-28
• Palliative Care event at Bowral Hospital, May 27 from about 9am
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at private hospital, 10am, May 24. RSVP Jo or Katie on 4862 9470
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. May 25
• Can Assist meeting, Thursday, June 9th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Look Good Feel Better program at SH Private Hospital, July 12.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au





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Cancer Connections - April 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Missed the Cancer Services Directory 2016 ?

Never mind. A copy of our Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory for 2016 can still be picked up from the Cancer Centre within the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. On top of which, if you happen to prefer to read a copy of the booklet online, we can accommodate that as well. The Directory is now easily available and can be accessed by just clicking on the tab Directory above. You will find that Southern Highland News have now made it an interactive digital magazine. It has a number of hyperlinks throughout which will give you instant opening of webpages or email windows. It reads so clearly on a full screen and you can still zoom in even further.


“What did your doctor say ?”
The charity organisation Rare Cancers Australia has developed an innovative app to help cancer patients through their medical consultations. Richard Vines recently outlined to our committee how it all works. The CAN.recall app uses the latest technology to improve the early patient experiences of those diagnosed with cancer. It provides a structured process for asking questions of the clinician (with a set of relevant questions already provided) and for recording the answers during a consultation. This can later be revisited and also replayed for family. CAN.recall is available now for smart phones and tablets on iPhone and Android platforms as a free download. Details are on the Rare Cancers website at www.rarecancers.org.au

Haematology services for the Highlands ?
Further to the item last month which notified of a setback in our efforts to have haematology services provided to uninsured patients here in the Southern Highlands : Readers may not be aware of the fact that self insured haematology patients are able to receive their treatment here at the private hospital while uninsured patients must travel to Liverpool for the same treatment. The planned arrangements for all to be treated locally does not now fit in with the public hospital’s current priorities. Our committee believes that those patients would be far better off if served closer to home, wherever possible. We know that the issue is a far more important one than currently assessed in the public hospital’s priorities and we will continue to press for this much-needed improvement in cancer services.



Relay For Life 2016
With a new venue at Moss Vale Showground and different times for start/finish, the Southern Highlands Relay this year was again a most successful event. The weather was good and the spirit among participants was great. This year’s efforts raised nearly $160,000 and thanks must go to the hardworking committee members who did all the organising and to all those people who attended or who donated. The amount raised will help towards meeting the cost of the great many services provided by Cancer Council NSW.



BowelCare Program 2016
Rotary are again distributing kits for bowel screening to pharmacies throughout our district. As was the case last year, the BowelCare Australia kits will use the updated technology of a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) to screen for occult blood. The new kits are available from all participating pharmacies in the Southern Highlands throughout April and May. The $15 cost for each kit covers pathology testing and notification of results to both you and your nominated doctor. Full instructions are included within the kit package.

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at private hospital, 10am, April 26. RSVP Jo or Katie on 4862 9470
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. April 27

• Look Good Feel Better program, SH Cancer Centre, Tues. May 10th. For information, select the LGFB tab under the "Local Services" menu above.

Can Assist meeting, Thursday, May 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital

• Biggest Morning Teas can be held anytime throughout May or June. There will be one held at the Private Hospital on May 26th.


Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or 
info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au




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Cancer Connections - May-June 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Vale Peter Coupland

It is with great sadness that I report to you on the death of our Committee colleague and friend, Peter Coupland, who held the position of Social Worker at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre and also counselled in a private capacity. He will be remembered with a tender fondness by all who knew him, or worked with him, or were treated by him. Peter had a tremendous sensitivity and compassion, to an extraordinary degree, matched also by a quick intelligence and a great sense of humour. At the May meeting of our committee members spoke of our admiration for Peter and his work in helping cancer patients and their families. We ended the expression of condolence to Peter’s family with a one-minute silence in his memory.



Donations to cancer charities

Readers will know that the Cancer Leadership Committee supports the fund-raising work of Cancer Council NSW through such efforts as the Biggest Morning Tea (see below) and Relay For Life. As well as that, I am often asked : “How do I donate to support cancer patients here in the Southern Highlands ?” I always offer two alternatives : to donate to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre Trust Fund, whose account is managed by the Southern Highlands Foundation, or to donate to the local branch of Can Assist. Space in this column does not permit me to provide all the necessary details here. Folk who wish to support local patients will find all the information they need on this website. Just click on the "Local Services" tab above and choose Can Assist or the Trust Fund from the pull-down menu. (Donations over $2 to either are tax-deductible.)


Committee changes
In recent months our membership has also altered with the resignations of Tina Hunt (Cancer Council), Kit Bullivant (Can Assist), and Steve Burton (Ambulance Service). All have been members for a number of years and we thank them most sincerely for the continued support they have given to the Committee’s projects. As a result, we have welcomed as new members Aurelia Grigore-Reid from Can Assist, and Sally Hudson from Cancer Council. We look forward to working with both and I know they will be great additions to our team.

Smoke-free outdoor dining
The NSW Government has now announced that their policy to create smoke-free environments in dining areas across the state will commence on July 6th this year. This will apply to outdoor dining areas of hotels, cafes, clubs and restaurants. During 2013 the Government gave notice that they would proceed to implement this step in 2015 in their bid to reduce the effects of tobacco and to increase the emphasis on a healthy lifestyle. Expect to see further details as the policy is rolled out. NSW Health reports that smoking causes around 5,200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations in this State alone each year.

Rekindle

There is an innovative program now available online to assist cancer survivors in regaining a sexual relationship. Called Rekindle, this is a private, personalised online resource that addresses sexual concerns for all adults affected by cancer. Supported by the University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW, the free service can be accessed simply by visiting the website www.rekindleonline.org.au/


Coming Events
• National Families Week, May 14-20
• National Palliative Care Week, May 24-30
• Biggest Morning Tea at SH Cancer Centre, Mon. May 25
• May 30 is always World No Tobacco Day
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
• Bowel Cancer Dial-in Day, June 5 : Dial 1800 555 494, 10am-4pm
• Can Assist meeting June 11, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Red Apple Day raising awareness of bowel cancer, June 17
• S. H. Community Hospice Gala Dinner, Centennial Vineyards, June 20.

For details, visit the Community Hospice website at http://shchospice.org.au/

  • Can Assist meeting July  9, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au



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Cancer Connections - April 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The removal of chemo co-payments

An end is now in sight for the practice of some public hospitals charging cancer patients a co-payment for their chemotherapy. At other public hospitals, these drugs were provided at no charge, creating a bit of a lottery depending on where you happened to be treated. The recent NSW election has brought about the change. After the ALP promised to abolish the co-payment, the Baird Government made the same commitment and then went on to include charges for the drugs for treatment of HIV, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis and organ transplants as well. We now await an announcement of when these fees will no longer be charged.

Cancer Services Directory 2015 now available

With the publication of this year’s Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory inside the Southern Highland News last month, we have been getting feedback and reactions to the new format. This has been the first time in our 7 years of issuing the Directory that it has been combined with the Southern Highlands Health Guide in one booklet. The responses so far have been most positive about the change to a two-cover “flip” booklet and its A5 format also remains popular. Missed your copy ? Some spare copies are available from the Cancer Centre within the private hospital. As well as that, the whole Directory can now be viewed online from this website simply by clicking on the Directory tab above.


BowelCare Program

I have received word that the well known bowel screening program run by BowelCare Australia will be using a new test kit this year. The kits, which are distributed to pharmacies throughout our district by Rotary, will use the updated technology of a Faecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) to screen for occult blood. Participating pharmacies in the Southern Highlands should have the new kits available from May 2nd (if not earlier) through to June 27th. The $15 cost for each kit covers pathology testing and notification of results to both you and your nominated doctor.

Bowel cancer refers to a cancer in any part of the large bowel (the colon or the rectum). It is sometimes also known as colorectal cancer. Bowel cancer grows from the inner lining of the bowel and may develop from growths on the bowel wall called polyps. Polyps are usually benign (or harmless), but they may become malignant (cancerous) over time. Information from Cancer Council NSW indicates that bowel cancer is the second most common cancer affecting people in Australia with nearly 17,000 diagnosed with the disease in one year. About one in 17 men and one in 25 women will develop bowel cancer before the age of 75. So, why not “get checked” ?


Cancer Research News

Did you know that Cancer Council NSW spent $14.2 million in the 2013/14 financial year on research into various aspects of cancer ? The total amount invested in their world-class research over the last 10 years has been more than $130m. That’s made possible by the combined efforts of communities like our own across NSW, raising funds to go towards cancer research, prevention, information and support services. What is important here is that this is the only organisation putting funds towards the support of all cancers. Research also helps to prioritise the areas where we can have the greatest impact, so this enhances the outcomes for current and future cancer patients.

Coming Events

• “Field of Women”, Melbourne, May 9
• Mothers Day Classic at Bong Bong Racecourse, 3km walk & 5km run, May 10
• National Volunteer Week, May 11-17
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs. May 14, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Biggest Morning Tea, Thurs. May 28 or on nearby dates. The local Cancer Centre will be holding their Biggest Morning Tea on Monday 25th

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - May 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Relay For Life 2014

Remember the day ? Saturday, 3rd May ? The weather : cold, wet and windy. Did that deter people from attending ? No way ! Over 1000 people from the Southern Highlands turned up in their various teams to remember those taken by cancer and to celebrate those who presently cope with the disease. Our keynote speaker, Barbara Williams, was both entertaining and inspiring as she described the excitement she had in forming a breast cancer dragonboat team and competing at regattas. The full text of what she had to say can now be read on this website : just click on the News & Events item.















The Survivors and Carers Walk signalled the commencement of the actual relay. Andrew Hearn, the Berrima auctioneer, led the way again this time with a swirl of his bagpipes and a complete indifference to the rain falling at that time. Despite the conditions, this year’s Relay was a resounding success ! For starters, the target of $200,000 had been reached before the day even began. By the end of May, the funds raised were in excess of $284,000 !. Truly this is an amazing result and demonstrates once again the tremendous generosity of the Southern Highlands community in helping others.













Donations put to work
How does Cancer Council use these funds ? Firstly there is the costly area of research into the causes and the treatment of cancer. Cancer Council NSW will spend over $15 million on research alone this year. In our local area, they finance the Patient Transport Service bus, the GAPS program supporting patients and carers in their own homes, and the information resource stands now available in a number of medical centres. They support the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee and provided the funds to establish this website. And all local cancer patients and carers have access to their wide range of support services : the Helpline on 13 11 20; telephone, online and one-to-one peer support programs; financial assistance; prevention programs; the Sunsmart schools and community speakers programs in addition to their extensive cancer information services.

Miss Relay 2014
Maybe conditions on the day caused a reduction in the number of contestants – there were 20 entrants two years ago – but nevertheless a quality field turned out this year. Before the contestants headed off to seek contributions, the early betting possibly favoured the seductive Nicola, who may have been lacking in dress sense but more than made up for it in (shall we say) maturity of years. It was Jasmina, however, who ultimately stole the show in a decisive manner. Known to his friends as James Smith from Krebs 4 Us, our new Miss Relay was strong enough to even defeat the 2012 winner, Miss Randy Tart.

Obviously with an eye to the weather, James chose a fetching little number in brilliant red satin, set off with an eye-catching white polka dot pattern on the bodice. Already streets ahead in the fashion stakes as it was, Jasmina then pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the bucket : a cheque for $500 from his employer. This was enough to trump all other collections and the title was his.

Mother’s Day Classic
By the time this column goes to press, the inaugural Bowral Mother's Day Classic Walk for Breast Cancer will have been held at Bong Bong Racecourse, Sunday, May 11th. Proceeds will go towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The success of this venture is all due to the great work done by Georgie Cousens, Jess Hunter, and their team of volunteers who decided to establish this as an annual event.

BowelCare Australia Program for 2014
Most pharmacies in the Southern Highlands are participating in the BowelCare Australia Program. Kits are available at pharmacies through to May 24th and must be returned to a participating pharmacy for pathology testing prior to June 7th. The $10 cost for each kit covers the testing and notification of results. So, why not “Get checked”.

Coming Events
• National Volunteer Week, May 12th – 18th
• Biggest Morning Teas will be held in the week beginning May 19th
• National Palliative Care Week, May 25th – 31st
• World No Tobacco Day, May 31st
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs., June 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - April 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Cancer Services Directory 2014 now available online

The 6th edition of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory was recently published in the Southern Highland News. The text articles for this year’s issue were provided by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee. Following a theme of “Support Groups and Services”, we have included all the information we have on what help is available locally for cancer patients and their families. Reception of the booklet has been most favourable. If you missed that issue, copies of the 24-page A5 booklet are still available from the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre within the private hospital. As well as that, a copy of all of the 2014 Directory has been placed on this website under the Directory tab above and available to download in pdf.


Committee loses Kate Partington

At our April meeting, the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee said our farewell to one of our longer serving members, Kate Partington. Currently the Nursing Unit Manager within the Wingecarribee Community Health Centre, Kate had to tell us that this would be her last meeting since she will be transferring out of the district. The committee thanked Kate warmly for her contribution to our work, particularly her advice, her knowledge of health services and personnel, and her ability to identify gaps in health services to patients. Kate’s new position will be as Community Aged Care Manager with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and we all wish her every success in her new role.

BowelCare Australia Program for 2014

We have been informed of the 2014 details for this valuable program, which is organised by Rotary. Participating pharmacies in the Southern Highlands will have the kits available from April 26th (if not earlier) through to May 24th. The completed kits must be returned to a participating pharmacy for pathology testing prior to June 7th. The $10 cost for each kit covers the testing and notification of results. From the 2013 BowelCare Program, 78 people were detected with bowel cancer or polyps and another 152 positive results are pending investigation. 
So, why not “Get checked”.

Relay For Life 2014

Relay for Life returns to the Southern Highlands on Saturday 3rd May at Eridge Park Oval and runs through to Sunday morning. Keep that date free and let’s work for an even bigger event than in 2012. The themes for Relay are “Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back !” and proceeds support the many worthwhile activities of Cancer Council NSW. To go to the website for Relay just click here This site will allow supporters to form a team to take part. You can join a team or, better still, start your own. Who will you relay for ?


Mother’s Day Classic

The inaugural Bowral Mother's Day Classic Walk for Breast Cancer will be held on Bong Bong Racecourse on Sunday, May 11th, starting at 9.30 a.m. Proceeds go towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The event offers a 3km walk for participation; it is not a timed race. For all details, registration closing dates and how to enter, go to  http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/


Coming Events

• BowelCare kits available at pharmacies, April 26th to May 24th
• Relay For Life, Eridge Park Oval, Sat. May 3rd through to Sun. morning
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs., May 8th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital.
• Mother’s Day Classic Walk for Breast Cancer, Bong Bong Racecourse, May 11, 9.30am
• International Nurses Day, May 12th (Florence Nightingale’s birthdate)
• National Volunteer Week, May 12th – 18th
• Biggest Morning Tea, week beginning May 19th

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - June 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Biggest Morning Tea events
There has been a great response from Southern Highlanders to the Biggest Morning Tea events held at various locations on different days throughout the month of May. These enjoyable community events have traditionally been a valuable way of raising funds for Cancer Council projects while at the same time providing a good excuse to simply get together with friends. Everyone involved deserves praise “because every cup counts”. Many thanks also to Southern Highland News for the excellent coverage, not only after the events, but especially for the comprehensive listing beforehand to publicise where and when they were going to happen.

Community Speaking Visit
On the day after the Southern Highlands Christian School had held their own Biggest Morning Tea, I had the opportunity to pay a visit to the school. It was May 31st – World No Tobacco Day – but I had been invited there to speak to students about how to protect their skin from the various forms of skin cancer. This meant I put on my other hat since I was speaking with students from Year 5 through to Year 12 as part of Cancer Council’s Community Speaking program. 

We looked at matters like UV radiation, the daily UV alert, and how to protect one’s skin with a SunSmart policy. They were a great audience, getting involved in the topics raised and coming up with a bunch of questions which showed that they were engaged in the issues. Other schools, workplaces or community groups who wish to have a presentation on any cancer issue can arrange this by telephoning the Wollongong office on 4223 0200.

Some of the students pictured with me after our meeting (L to R) : Liam Ryde, Adiel Mkolo, Shayla Carl and Nathan Barrett.

Southern Highlands statistics
How do we stand as far as the incidence of cancer in our own district ? Good question - one for which we do have some answers. Using figures supplied by the NSW Central Cancer Registry and the Cancer Institute of NSW, we can say that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the Southern Highlands, with nearly 60 new cases each year. Melanoma and breast cancer each show approximately 36 new cases each year. The other most common forms are bowel/colorectal and lung cancer.

Have a soft drink ?
I read of one study involving 60,000 participants which found that, if you drank more than two soft drinks each week, your risk of developing pancreatic cancer increased by a surprising 87%. The US-Singapore research pointed to increased sugar consumption as the possible cause, since the same increase was not found with diet soft drinks. (The average can of soft drink contains 7-10 teaspoons of sugar.)

Coming Events
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
• Red Aussie Apple Day, June 19th – buy a $2 apple pin plus an apple
• “Call to Arms” AFL games during July – Clash for Cancer
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs, July 11th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au


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Cancer Connections - May 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Biggest Morning Tea 
Southern Highlands Cancer Centre will hold their morning tea on Thursday, May 23rd which is the nominal date set for this year. But groups can hold one on any morning around that date. The BIGGEST Morning Tea at Burrawang School of Arts is on Saturday, May 25th. The Southern Highland News carried an extensive list of BMTs planned for the district in its issue of Wednesday, May 15th. Maybe this means you get to go to more than one event ! These are fun activities and are great fundraisers for Cancer Council. Because every cup counts.


About the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee
Following the success of our Cancer Services Directory for 2013, people have asked that we say a little about what we do. The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee (SHCLC) is an independent committee of local volunteers committed to improving services for cancer patients and raising awareness of the support which is available to them and their carers. The committee, which meets each month, works closely with the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, health professionals, members of volunteer services, support groups, program providers and cancer charities within the Wingecarribee.

To help spread the information about cancer issues to patients and to all in the community, the committee provides the material for the annual Directory published by Southern Highland News. The most recent step taken to make knowledge of cancer services and all these matters more accessible to people has been the creation of this website. The design of our website was funded by Cancer Council NSW who strongly support the committee’s activities. The column “Cancer Connections” which we write for Southern Highland News is printed on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and then provides the material for this blog. (You can find out more about our committee by clicking on the "About Us" tab above.)


Community Hospice winter fundraiser

This will be a Wearable Art Fashion Parade at Annesley on Thursday, June 13th, 5.30-7.30pm. The event will feature Margaret Connor’s creations which will be available for purchase after the parade. Book early. Tickets from the Hospice shop in High street, Bowral. Full details are on the Hospice website at http://shchospice.org.au/.


BowelCare kits available
With 1 in 12 Australians diagnosed by age 85, bowel cancer is the second largest cause of cancer deaths in Australia. The good news however is that, if detected early, 90% of cases can be treated successfully. So, why not “Get checked”. BowelCare kits are still available from local pharmacies until June 1st; the last day for returning kits for pathology testing is June 15th.

Cancer Services Directory now online
If you were not able to get your copy of our Directory for the Southern Highlands, the whole contents of the booklet can now be obtained from this website. This year’s booklet, which featured special articles on men’s health issues, can be easily downloaded as a pdf file. Just click on the Directory tab above.

World No Tobacco Day, May 31st
Each year, about 6 million people worldwide die as a result of tobacco usage. 600,000 of those victims are non-smokers.

Please note : The Gatsby Dinner Dance announced for June 28th has had to be cancelled due to insufficient time to have all arrangements in place for the event.

Coming Events
• BowelCare kits available at local pharmacies until June 1st.
• National Volunteer Week, May 13th – 19th
• Palliative Care Week, May 19th – 25th
• Biggest Morning Teas will occur on Thursday, May 23rd or on nearby dates
• Biggest Morning Tea at SH Cancer Centre, Thurs. May 23rd.
• Biggest Morning Tea at Burrawang School of Arts, Sat. May 25, 9am-12pm
• May 31st is always World No Tobacco Day.
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
  Bowral Men's Shed celebrates 10th Anniversary, at the Shed, 11.30 am, June 12.
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs, June 13th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Wearable Art Fashion Parade at Annesley, for Community Hospice, Thurs, June 13 .

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au



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