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 - 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

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


Cancer Connections - November 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Martine makes the final cut

Here’s another story to inspire you : Martine Rolff, who is employed at the Robertson Village Pharmacy, plans to cut off her very long hair and donate it so that it can be used to create a wig for someone undergoing treatment for cancer. The big cut is happening at Robertson but please note that it will now take place on Saturday, November 30th. 

Meanwhile, to mark the event and recognise Martine's gesture, collection tins are available at a number of local businesses in Robertson with all the proceeds going to the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist. The event is being publicised through the mycause website. To find Martine’s webpage, click here . The page will allow for you to contribute online and help her to reach her $1000 target. Donations made to our district's Can Assist branch are used to financially support cancer patients in the Southern Highlands with pharmacy bills, equipment needs, petrol and accommodation subsidies.

For the fundraising result, see our News & Events column.

Wigs from Wollondilly

While on the topic of wigs, did you know how the extensive wig library held at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre actually came about ? This wig resource was established jointly with funds from the Cancer Support Group from Wollondilly and from the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre Trust Fund. With the $6000 raised, the Wollondilly Support Group also made a cabinet to house the wigs and sample turbans and scarves. From time to time, cancer patients from the Wollondilly Shire receive treatment in the Southern Highlands and they have the backing of their active local support group. 

Meetings are held on the 1st Monday of each month at the Picton Bowling Club at 1.30pm. The Secretary can be contacted through their website :  click here  or by telephoning 46773285.

Cancer figures
Last month I referred to the high rates of cancer in Australia. This month it is worth looking at how this plays out here in the Wingecarribee LGA. Figures from the “Health Profile 2013” document reveal that this district has a higher incidence of cancer than the NSW average (522 per 100,000 population compared with 470 for the state as a whole). For the most common types of cancer – prostate, breast, and colon cancer, plus melanoma - Wingecarribee’s incidence rate was higher than the NSW average, whereas for lung cancer our figure was a little lower. These statistics, from the NSW Cancer Registry and the Cancer Institute NSW, cover the years 2004-2008 and are the latest available statewide. I shall report on the more recent situation when fresh data is finally published.

Relay for Life website now open
The website for the Southern Highlands Relay for Life 2014 event is operational at and this allows supporters to form a team to take part in Relay which will be happening on Eridge Park oval next May 3rd. 
Who will you relay for ?

Coming Events
• November is Movember to raise funds and awareness for prostate and testicular cancer and men’s mental health.
• Martine Rolff’s Good Hair Day occurs at Robertson, Saturday, November 30th.
• December 5th is International Volunteer Day. Have you considered volunteering ?
• Can Assist meeting, Thursday, December 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital.

Future events - two to pencil in :
** On Saturday 22nd February, 2014, a High Tea will be held at Southern Highland Wines. Reserve the date ! This is the major fundraiser of the year for the local branch of Can Assist.
** On Saturday 3rd May, 2014, the district will come together at Eridge Park oval for ‘Relay For Life’. Keep that date free and let’s work for an even bigger event than we had in 2012.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


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