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 - October 2018

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Saving Life 2019
As the March 2019 NSW election looms closer, some campaign issues are already taking shape. While transport troubles appear to have transfixed many Sydneysiders, those of us living outside the capital can afford to focus on broader matters. On the health policy front, an important issue will be Cancer Council’s call for a future State Government – whichever party is elected - to act on “Saving Life 2019”. That campaign focuses on four areas : reducing junk food advertising; removing tobacco vending machines; introducing a tobacco retail licence fee; and improving funding for lymphoedema services.

In late September I met with Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell and his Electoral Secretary, Tracey Watkins, to raise these questions and present them with copies of the Saving Life booklet. During our discussion of all four asks, Mr Rowell was most supportive on the issues and readily signed the postcard which calls on the Premier to act. I was even more impressed with his willingness to take up those matters within the Liberal Party room. To see further detail on how Cancer Council wants to reduce the impact of cancer in our communities, visit their website at www.cancercouncil.com.au and search “Saving Life 2019”.




Relay for Life Southern Highlands 2018

Relay is a chance for the Southern Highlands community to recognise and celebrate local cancer survivors, patients and their carers, to honour and remember loved ones lost to cancer and to raise money to help save more lives. This year it will be on Moss Vale Showground Sat. October 20, commencing at 11 am. Funds raised at Relays go towards Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention, information and support services. To join up or donate, just Google "relay for life southern highlands 2018". Or you can contact the co-ordinator, Kelly Dinnerville, at Kelly.Dinnerville@nswcc.org.au or telephone (02) 42230242. You could join one of the existing teams or start one of your own with some friends or colleagues. Who will you relay for ?



Men’s Health Month

A forum on issues affecting men’s health will be held on each Monday in November, starting at 6pm sharp at St Jude’s Auditorium. The series, again organised by Tom Carroll, will commence on Mon. Nov. 5. Full program details are on this website - just click on the item under the "News & Events" tab.


Results from Can Assist film night
The movie night fundraiser for Can Assist produced a very good result for the local charity. With proceeds from ticket sales and accompanying raffle, it produced a net result of $3,600 which will all go towards supporting local cancer patients. We again received great assistance from New Empire Cinemas, FISH (Film in the Southern Highlands), and our other sponsors. Many thanks are due to the reliable band of Can Assist volunteers who helped to make the event run smoothly and the many supporters who attended on the night. Special thanks must go to Aurelia and John who made the whole thing possible.
Just in : Aurelia reports that Can Assist has been given a most generous donation from the Moss Vale Ladies Golf Day : $5,200. What a wonderful boost for patients! Many thanks.

Coming Events
• Pink Ribbon Day can be any day in October in support of women with breast or gynaecological cancer. With Halloween coming, Rare Cancers is running “scare4rare” activities. And October is also Dogtober, Ocsober, and Walktober.
• National Carer’s Week will be held Oct. 16 to 22.

• YWCA Encore program, Mittagong, Wednesdays, Oct. 17 to Dec. 5. Details are on this website; look for the sub-menu under the "Local Services" tab.

• Relay for Life Southern Highlands 2018, Moss Vale Showground, 11am Sat. Oct. 20 to 21.
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Oct.. 23 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Oct. 24
• 26th Oct. is National Bandanna Day for CanTeen

• 26th Oct. is RCA Halloween Charity Ball in Sydney Town Hall. All details on RCA website at http://www.rarecancers.org.au

• Men’s Health forum each Monday of November, starting Nov 5, 6pm at St Jude’s
• Can Assist Meeting at Mittagong RSL Club, 10am Nov. 13.
• A “Bouncing Forward Now” program will be held soon. Ring the Cancer Centre for details.

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


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Cancer Connections - February 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Cancer Services Directory 2017
Each year the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee provides the text for the Cancer Services Directory which is published by Southern Highland News as a free special booklet. This year’s issue will be the 9th edition of the Directory and its theme will be aspects of palliative care. This is certainly a topical issue right now here in the Southern Highlands, as it is across NSW, so it is timely that we inform readers about the role of palliative care for cancer patients. The March edition of this column (on the 3rd Wednesday of the month) will indicate the actual date on which the issue of Southern Highland News will carry the booklet.

Committee consulted for Cancer Plan
At the February meeting of our committee we were pleased to welcome Leah D’Souza who came to consult with us about cancer issues. Leah is the consultant working with staff from NSW Health to develop a new Cancer Plan for the South Western Sydney Local Health District. The District stretches from Bankstown and Fairfield in the north across seven LGAs to Wingecarribee in the south and contains a population of about 820,000. It was an indication of the standing achieved by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee as a community-based consultative body that our input was sought on a range of issues affecting cancer patients and their treatment. The Cancer Plan will be the means by which the Local Health District will focus and prioritise its efforts to improve its range of cancer services.

Can Assist to meet at BDCU
Those who attend the monthly meetings of the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist will now have a new venue for all future meetings. The branch, which previously met at the old Bowral Hospital, has now accepted the generous offer from the BDCU Alliance Bank for the use of one of their rooms for its meetings. 
Many thanks to BDCU – we all know the building at 411 Bong Bong Street, Bowral – for once again demonstrating its exceptional commitment to providing support to members of its local community.

Healthy Lifestyle Program
Coming this year : a free program from Cancer Council NSW for cancer survivors, carers, partners and family. The face-to-face group sessions will be facilitated by a dietitian and exercise physiologist and involve 2 hours per week for 8 weeks.

A course will be held at Narellan in the Macarthur region on Saturdays, commencing on Feb. 11th, from 10am-12 noon.
For full details and the schedule of where all sessions will be held, visit the Cancer Council NSW website at https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/enrich/ 
Reservations are essential; telephone 1300 360 541 or email enrich@nswcc.org.au

Coming Events
• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month; Teal Ribbon Day will be on Feb. 24
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. Feb. 22
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at SH Private Hospital, 10-11.30 am, Tues. Feb. 28. RSVP to Katie on 4862 9469.
• Feel the March Charge. Walk or run, solo or team, for Cancer Council this March. See www.themarchcharge.com.au
• Can Assist meeting March. 9, 10am. Note new venue : BDCU, Bong Bong St, Bowral
• Mount Kosciuszko Challenge, March 18. A fundraiser by Rare Cancers Australia, this involves a climb from Thredbo to the summit. To register, visit www.rarecancers.org.au
• “Bounce Forward” program at SH Private Hospital, March 25-26. For information or a booking, contact Jo Pearson, Nursing Unit Manager, Cancer Centre 4862 9472.

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


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Cancer Connections - January 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Southern Highlands Cancer Centre Trust Fund

The Trust Fund has recently made two substantial donations, both of which will greatly assist patients, their carers and families. $15,000 has been allocated for respite for carers, to be used by the Community Palliative Care team, and $5,000 goes to the Peter Coupland Fund, which is administered by the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist. Anyone wishing to make a donation to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre Trust Fund can find all the information they need under the ‘Local Services’ tab of this website.


Breast Cancer Clinical Trial
Associate Professor Stephen Della-Fiorentina, a foundation member of our committee, has announced that a new breast cancer clinical trial has commenced. The Southern Highlands Cancer Centre has started the trial for women with early stage 2 breast cancer that is hormone sensitive. The PALLAS study is available for women who have started antihormone treatment within the past 6 months. It is run by the ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group and investigates a new drug, Palbociclib, and whether it is of added benefit to standard antihormone medications. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Cancer Centre on 48629470.

Cancer Services Directory 2017
In late March Southern Highland News will make available the 9th edition of our annual Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory. The theme for this year’s booklet will be aspects of palliative care. This is certainly a topical issue here in the Southern Highlands as it is across NSW so it is timely that we inform readers about the role of palliative care for cancer patients. If you provide a service for cancer patients or carers and you would like to be given a free Directory listing for the very first time, please get in touch with me. Contact details below.

Healthy Lifestyle Program

Coming this year : a free program from Cancer Council NSW for cancer survivors, carers, partners and family. The face-to-face group sessions will be facilitated by a dietitian and exercise physiologist and involve 2 hours per week for 8 weeks. 

The Enriching Survivorship Program is made up of the following components:
  * Six sessions focus on exercise and nutrition to improve cancer health (ENRICH). These sessions are facilitated by an exercise physiologist/physiotherapist and a dietitian.
  * A yoga and mindfulness session introduces relaxation breathing techniques to help reduce stress and anxiety.
  * A peer support session provides practical information, discussion and ideas about how to adjust to the changes following cancer treatment.

A course will be held at Narellan in the Macarthur region on Saturdays, commencing on Feb. 11th, from 10am-12 noon.  

For full details and the schedule of where all sessions will be held, visit the Cancer Council NSW website at https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/enrich/  Reservations are essential; telephone 1300 360 541 or email enrich@nswcc.org.au


Committee Changes
Some recent changes have occurred to the membership of our committee. After many years as our Minute Secretary, Narelle McKinnon has stepped down from the position but will remain a committee member and our minutes will now be taken by Margaret Mogg. Therese Harris has resigned from the committee after a long membership and, at our January meeting, we welcomed Bhish Rowjee, pharmacist from the Amcal Pharmacy in Springetts Arcade.

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Feb. 28. RSVP Jo or Katie.
• Feb. is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month; Teal Ribbon Day will be on Feb. 24
• Can Assist meeting Feb. 9th, 10am, old Bowral Hospital
* Feel the March Charge. Walk or run, solo or team, for Cancer Council this March. See www.themarchcharge.com.au
• Mount Kosciuszko Challenge, March 18. A fundraiser by Rare Cancers Australia, this involves a climb from Thredbo to the summit. To register, visit www.rarecancers.org.au
• “Bounce Forward” program will be held at SH Private Hospital, March 25-26. For information or a booking, contact Jo Pearson, Nursing Unit Manager, Cancer Centre 4862 9472.

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


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Cancer Connections - November 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Community Cancer Fund now launched

On Thursday, November 12th, along with five other members of our committee, I was fortunate to be present at the Milk Factory Gallery for an important event. On that evening the Southern Highlands Community Cancer Fund was launched by Dr Brendan Nelson, a past President of the AMA, before a large audience of well-wishers. This new fund is being established by Bowral residents, Richard and Kate Vines, who have already achieved so much in the field of cancer support and information through their creation of Rare Cancers Australia (RCA). You can find out more about how this new initiative will assist cancer patients - and how Richard and Kate’s work has already helped people with rare and less common cancers - by visiting their website at  www.rarecancers.org.au or by calling in at the RCA office in Springetts Arcade.


Paws Pet Therapy in action
Did you know that there are currently 30 volunteers supported by Paws Pet Therapy to provide a professional pet assisted therapy service to facilities in the Southern Highlands and several other regions ? In our own district, Paws teams make weekly visits to aged care services and disability groups, and provide daily visits to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre. 

Clad in purple, the Paws Pet Therapy teams provide comfort to people undergoing chemotherapy and also to their families and hard-working Cancer Centre staff. They can also decrease blood pressure and alleviate anxiety in patients. Feedback from the Cancer Centre staff, patients and families has been extremely positive, and all look forward to a doggie smile and a friendly wag of the tail every day.

The founder of Paws Pet Therapy, Sharon Stewart, is pictured here with Rocky.

If you would like to find out more about the benefits of pet therapy, or would like to book a visit, please check out their website at www.pawspettherapy.com , contact  sharon.paws@hotmail.com  or telephone 4681 0499. Or you could call to have a chat about volunteering or sponsorship opportunities.


Accor Hotels accommodation support
A new partnership has been announced by Cancer Council NSW and AccorHotels which will bring help to some local cancer patients. The new scheme will provide Southern Highlands cancer patients with reduced rate accommodation options when they are required to travel to Sydney for their cancer treatment. This partnership will complement the current NSW Government’s Isolated Patients Transport and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS). The service will be available across 62 AccorHotels properties close to treatment facilities in greater Sydney and other locations across NSW. The overall financial burden of cancer will be reduced for these patients when they claim the commercial IPTAAS rate on these rooms. More details about this scheme can be obtained from Sally Hudson, Community Programs Co-ordinator at Cancer Council NSW, by telephoning 4223 0205.

Relay For Life 2016

Advance notice is out that next year’s Southern Highlands Relay For Life will be held at the Moss Vale Showground instead of Eridge Park Oval. The organising committee is already at work to have everything ready for Saturday, April 2. Relay is only held every second year and after the great success in 2014, in which our Southern Highlands community contributed so generously for Cancer Council NSW, people are looking forward to another excellent event. This time Relay will run from 12pm Saturday until 12pm Sunday - which should be a timing to suit most people. It’s now possible to form a team or to join an existing team. Just go to the website  www.relayforlife.org.au and choose the Southern Highlands page. If you won’t be in the district on that date, the page also has a facility for you to donate. Relay is also on Facebook.


Coming Events

• Men’s Health Month continues, 6pm Mondays at St Judes : Nov. 23 & 30. Full details can be found in our 'News and Events' section of this website.

• “Bounce Forward” program will be on Nov. 28-29. All the details can be found in our 'News and Events' section of this website.

• Dec. 5 is International Volunteer Day celebrating the fantastic work by so many
• Can Assist meeting Dec. 10, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Relay For Life 2016 on Sat.-Sun. April 2-3 at Moss Vale Showground.

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



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Cancer Connections - October 2015

Friday, October 23, 2015

Chemotherapy co-payments removed
During September, the NSW Government followed through on their pre-election commitment to abolish chemotherapy co-payments for all patients. Prior to this, some people were being charged co-payments for highly specialised chemotherapy, and others were not. The promise to no longer require a co-payment for chemotherapy (and a number of other treatments) came as a result of the ‘Saving Life’ campaign conducted by Cancer Council NSW throughout all electorates in the run up to the election. It’s great to see that the Government has now acted on this so quickly.

Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group
The first meeting of this new local support group catering for any cancer patients (and their carers) was most successful. The inaugural meeting saw 19 people attend which provides a sound basis for continuing support. The group will hold their next gathering on Thursday, October 22nd, 10.00am to 11.30. Venue : conference room of the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. Anyone interested in attending is invited to telephone Jo Pearson or Katie Moran on 4862 9470.

Bounce Forward !

The valuable initiative ‘Bounce Forward’ (previously called ‘Living Well Now’) is a two-day program which will be held at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Saturday and Sunday, 28th & 29th November. It provides practical tools for finding peace amidst the turmoil of a cancer diagnosis. The course was developed here in the Southern Highlands by Dr Louella Crawford, a GP and psychotherapist, and Jo Pearson, the Nursing Unit Manager at the Cancer Centre. Further details are available on the flyer shown on this website. Just look under the 'News and Events' tab above. If you would like to make a booking, please contact Jo on 4862 9470.









Organise an event for PINK October and raise funds for Cancer Council NSW

More news bites
The Southern Highlands Spring Auto Fair held at Berrima PS in September raised $20,000 !! Proceeds were donated to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre. What a fabulous effort by all involved.
The General and Practical Support program (GAPS) is in need of volunteer drivers. Anyone who feels they can help transport cancer patients to or from consultations, treatment, etc is asked to contact Sally Hudson at Cancer Council NSW on 4223 0205.

October is PINK month and we are even more aware of cancer in our community. If you have a relevant local cancer service you wish to see given a free listing in our Cancer Services Directory to be issued in Southern Highland News next March, just send me an email at info@sh-cancerconnect.com.au

• Tom Carroll has organised another Men’s Health Month on behalf of Wingecarribee Health Association for Men (WHAM). There will be four events on Monday evenings in this November, starting on Monday 9th at 6pm. The venue is the new auditorium at St Jude’s Anglican Church, Bowral. For all the details, look on this website under the 'News and Events' tab.

Rare Cancers Australia has organised the ‘Sick or Treat Sessions’, a series of presentations by medical academics and cancer specialists, to be held at the University of Sydney on Oct. 28. For all details, visit their website at www.rarecancers.org.au or call into their office in Springetts Arcade or else contact RCA on 4862 2768.


Coming Events
• October is PINK month. Organise a Girls Night In during October
• Can Assist fundraiser : movie “The Dressmaker” at Empire Cinema, Oct. 22
• Cancer Council’s Pink Ribbon Day – don’t forget to buy a ribbon
• National Bandanna Day against childhood cancer is Sat. Oct. 31
• Men’s Health Month, four Mondays in Nov., starting Nov. 9. See above
• Can Assist meeting Nov. 12, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• “Bounce Forward” program will now be on Nov. 28-29. See above.
• Advance Notice : RFL 2016 on April 2-3 at Moss Vale Showground.

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




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Cancer Connections - September 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bacteria to eat nicotine ?
Most people who smoke cigarettes know it’s bad for their health, but quitting is notoriously difficult. To make it easier, scientists are taking a brand-new approach. They are turning to bacteria that thrive on nicotine, the addictive component in tobacco. In the Journal of the American Chemical Society, they report successful tests on a bacterial enzyme that breaks down nicotine and could potentially dull its effects in humans.

The researchers used an enzyme called NicA2 that comes from Pseudomonas putida, a kind of bacteria already known to degrade tobacco waste. In lab tests, NicA2 broke down all the nicotine in blood samples within 30 minutes. If the enzyme could be used to remove nicotine from smokers’ blood, this would reduce or eliminate the addictive component of smoking. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death. Mice given the enzyme showed no observable side effects. More research needed. Early days yet.



No sales of e-cigarettes to under 18 years
New laws have come into force in NSW banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to anyone under the age of 18. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid which may contain nicotine, to create a mist to be inhaled by the user, a process known as vaping. The CEO of the Heart Foundation NSW, Kerry Doyle, said : “The trouble with e-cigarettes is that we don’t know what’s in a lot of them. What we do know is that in NSW a great proportion of the ones that were tested by our own health department actually had nicotine, which is a scheduled poison.” The NSW Government passed laws in June to address concerns that e-cigarettes could act as a gateway to tobacco smoking in children.

Mira Glavan speaks to Can Assist

On Thursday September 15, I was able to attend the annual meeting of Can Assist’s Southern Highlands branch and noted that this year marks their 55th year of service to our local community. What a record. It has all been achieved by local volunteers raising funds to help local cancer patients. The guest speaker was Mira Glavan, the Clinical Nurse Consultant in Palliative Care, who gave a most informative presentation to explain how palliative care nowadays focuses on achieving the best quality of life for those with an incurable illness. Rather than merely helping at “end of life”, today’s program of support can be provided 3 or 6 months earlier than that. Survey results have shown that the Wingecarribee Palliative Care team have received the highest praise from patients and their loved ones. If you would like to donate to the work of Can Assist, their postal address is PO Box 693, Bowral, or you can find all their contact details on the Can Assist webpage on this website click here


WARNING : Bogus phone calls have been made by someone asking for donations for “Bowral Cancer Centre”. This is a scam. 
There is no such collection. Just hang up.

Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group
A local support group, catering for any cancer patients (and their carers), is soon to be formed. The first meeting of the Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group will be held on Thursday, 24th September, 10-11.30am in the conference room of the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. Anyone interested in attending is invited to telephone Jo Pearson on 4862 9472.

Coming Events
• September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
• September is also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
• SH Blood Cancer Support Group will meet on Sept. 23
• First meeting of Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, Thurs, Sept. 24, 10.00 – 11.30am, conference room, Southern Highlands Private Hospital
• Bright Pink Lipstick Day in aid of breast & ovarian cancer issues, Fri. Sept. 25
• Spring Auto Fair, Berrima Public School, Sept. 27, 9am-2pm
• Organise a Girls Night In during October
• Can Assist meeting Oct. 8, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• Home & Garden Show will be at Bong Bong Racecourse, Oct. 10th-11th
• Can Assist fundraiser : movie “The Dressmaker” at Empire Cinema, Oct. 22
• Please note : a full program of “Bounce Forward” will now be on Nov. 21-22

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






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Cancer Connections - August 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Southern Highlands Patient Transport Service
Cancer patients from the Southern Highlands who require transport to the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre for treatment, or to see a doctor or specialist, can access the Southern Highlands Patient Transport Service. This bus is funded by Cancer Council NSW and fully operated by trained volunteers.

The service runs daily, picking up patients and their carers at set locations in the Highlands and returning passengers following treatment. The bus can collect patients who are booked to travel from the designated stops at Moss Vale, Bowral, Mittagong, Braemar, Hill Top & Colo Vale, Bargo, Tahmoor and Picton from 9.00am every weekday. Bookings are made by telephoning the Cancer Council Southern Region office in Wollongong on 4223 0200. Passengers are invited to make a $5 donation per day towards the cost of petrol and servicing.





If you are using the service, please inform the nursing staff at the Centre so that they can schedule your treatment to coincide with the arrival of the bus. The bus is staffed by volunteers; no medical equipment or medical staff are on board. Full details about the bus are also available on this website : click here

Blood Cancer Support Group
It was heartening news that the Southern Highlands Blood Cancer Support Group held another successful meeting in August and have now planned their program for the rest of 2015. I have learned that their next meeting will be on Wednesday, 23rd September. Bookings are essential, so please RSVP to Rachel Seath on (02) 4222 0607 or 0466 491 793. Any patient receiving treatment for a blood cancer condition who is interested in joining this group is advised to telephone direct to Rachel who is the Support Co-ordinator, Illawarra and South West Sydney, for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group
In addition to the successful blood cancer support group mentioned above, I can now report that a local support group, catering for patients (and their carers) with any form of cancer, is soon to be formed. The first meeting of the new Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group will be held on Thursday, 24th September, 10.00 – 11.30am in the conference room of the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. See also the item and flyer in our ‘News and Events’ column. Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP (for catering purposes) by telephoning Jo Pearson or Katie Moran on 4862 9470.

Quick reminder of three events :

• Daffodil Day, 
a major fundraiser for Cancer Council, is on Friday, 28th August this year. Buy a badge, a pen or other merchandise on that day, or simply make a donation, at stalls staffed by volunteers. Also some local stores and outlets will have material available in the week prior.
* "Bounce Forward" Program 
will be held again at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Sat. & Sun., September 12 & 13. You will find all the details and flyer already under our "News & Events" tab above.
• Southern Highlands Spring Auto Fair

is at Berrima Public School on September 27th, 9am - 2pm. Organised by the Highland Cruisers, this event showcases vintage and veteran cars, hot rods, muscle cars and motorcycles. Contact : Darren Freer 0439 110 358, Phil Walmsley 0438 402 797, or email shspringautofair@gmail.com. All proceeds are going to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, a most worthy cause.


Coming Events
• Daffodil Day supporting Cancer Council NSW will be Friday, August 28

• August is a month for “Cook for a Cure”, a Research Australia initiative to educate about the importance of health and medical research. Visit http://cookforacure.com.au/

• Annual Branch meeting of Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist will be held on Sept. 10, 10am in the Lecture Room of the old Bowral Hospital, followed by light refreshments
* "Bounce Forward" Program at the SH Private Hospital, Sept. 12 & 13 : see all the details under our "News & Events" tab above
• September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month - 600 Australian children are diagnosed with cancer every year
• September is also Prostate Cancer Awareness Month - in 2012 there were over 3,000 deaths caused by prostate cancer
• Spring Auto Fair, Berrima Public School, Sept. 27, 9am-2pm
• Home & Garden Show will be at Bong Bong Racecourse, Oct. 10th-11th

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





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Cancer Connections - March 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Progress on removing chemo co-payments
Following on from the announcement in this column last month of improvements to the Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS), we now have a further health development in the NSW election campaign. The Labor Opposition has stated that, if elected to government, it will abolish all co-payments for chemotherapy treatment. This is another valuable reform because currently some patients have to make a co-payment at public hospitals each time they begin a new chemo treatment, yet other patients at different public hospitals are not required to pay at all. It is quite an anomaly. Mr Baird has stated that his Government is considering dropping the co-payment. It is hoped that the Liberal-Nationals will now give a firm commitment to match this improvement.

STOP PRESS : On Sunday, March 22, the Liberal Government has announced that they will remove the co-payments for chemotherapy required for treatment of cancer and for the drugs for treatment of HIV, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis and organ transplants as well. This brings to a successful conclusion the lengthy campaign by Cancer Council NSW and its advocates for an end to the anomaly.

Cancer Services Directory 2015
The material for this year’s Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory has now been sent to the printers. Its focus will be what happens when there is a cancer diagnosis within a family and what help is available for families in that situation. This 2015 edition – our 7th one – will be a bumper issue because for the first time it will be combined with the Southern Highlands Health Guide to make a super-sized 56-page health booklet. It comes out on Wednesday, March 25th, free in that day’s Southern Highland News. Make sure you get your copy.

The March Charge
Since one in every three cancers can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle, Cancer Council has introduced “The March Charge” : to encourage the community to run all of the kilometres they can during the month of March, and raise money to aid cancer research, prevention programs and support services. So this March, enlist to push yourself at least 1/3 further or faster or harder than usual. Run all the kilometres you can and help obliterate cancer once and for all. Find out more at http://www.themarchcharge.com.au/



Haematology services in the Southern Highlands

Did you know that, since last year, specialist haematology consultation services are available at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital, Bowral, on two days each month ? Dr Silvia Ling visits on the 1st Monday of each month and Dr Nicole Wong Doo visits on the 2nd Tuesday. Referrals can be made via the Haematology Department at Liverpool : telephone 8738 5167 or fax 8738 5176.

Bounce Forward ! 
The valuable initiative ‘Bounce Forward’ (previously called ‘Living Well’) is a two-day program which will be held at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Saturday and Sunday, 21st and 22nd March. To find out more or to make a booking, contact Jo Pearson, the Nursing Unit Manager at the Cancer Centre, on 4862 9472.

Coming Events
• ‘Bounce Forward’ program, Sat.-Sun., March 21-22. Details above.
• Cancer Services Directory free copy in SH News, Wed. March 25th
• National Smile Day inspired by Clown Doctors, April 1st
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs. April 9th, 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 - February 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Greater support for regional patients

It was encouraging to learn of a commitment made by the NSW Liberal and National parties to implement further improvements to the IPTAAS scheme. This is the Isolated Patient Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme which provides assistance to those rural and regional patients who need to travel a long distance in NSW for medical treatment. The enhanced program being proposed would see an increase in the petrol subsidy, increases in the accommodation subsidy rates, and a reduction in the patient co-payment. Commitments were given that, if re-elected, the Government would also simplify the IPTAAS forms, make some further services eligible for claims, and make the claims process itself much easier for people to use. It is hoped that the State Opposition will give a similar undertaking to match these improvements.

Our Patron the Mayor

The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee is very pleased to announce that the Mayor of Wingecarribee Shire, Duncan Gair, has accepted the position of Patron of the committee. In indicating his willingness to fulfill this role, the Mayor acknowledged that the Cancer Leadership Committee’s annual Cancer Services Directory is a very important publication assisting all those affected by cancer in our shire.

Cancer research

In a new study by Cancer Research UK, almost half the participants did not see their GP despite suffering cancer "alarm" warning signs. Commenting on the study, Professor Sandro Porceddu, a radiation oncologist and clinical advisor to Cancer Council Australia, says one in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. This is not meant as a scary statistic; it is not a cause for alarm so much as a call for awareness. "In Australia, we have one of the highest cancer survival rates in the world," Professor Porceddu says. "If detected early, we have a much greater chance of surviving." For instance, did you know that an Australian dies of melanoma every six hours. Every two and a half hours someone dies of bowel cancer, yet 90% of such deaths would have been prevented if detected early.



The conclusion from these findings is that, if you have a concern about a health problem which has not gone away, consult your GP. Early detection saves lives.

Bounce Forward !

The valuable initiative ‘Bounce Forward’ (previously called ‘Living Well’) is a two-day program which will be held at the Southern Highlands Private Hospital on Saturday and Sunday, 21st and 22nd March. To find out more or to make a booking, contact Jo Pearson, the Nursing Unit Manager at the Cancer Centre, on 4862 9472.

Cancer Services Directory 2015

Our material for this year’s edition of the Southern Highlands Directory is ready for publication. For this year our focus is going to centre on cancer within families and what help is available for families in that situation. A big change from previous years will see the booklet combined with the Southern Highlands Health Guide to make a super-sized health issue for 2015. Publication date will be Wednesday, March 25th with your free copy available in that day’s Southern Highland News. Don’t miss it. To place an advertisement in the new bumper booklet, please contact the News sales team on 4861 2333.

Coming Events

• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Hold an “afternoon teal” in February to support Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their website is : https://ovariancancer.net.au/

• Teal Ribbon Day, fundraising for ovarian cancer programs, is on Feb. 25th
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs. March. 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• ‘Bounce Forward’ program, Sat.-Sun., March 21-22. Details above.

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


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