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 - June 2018

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Cancer Services Directory 2018

This year’s edition of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory was published as a free insert in Southern Highland News on Friday June 15th. This issue, which was our 10th, has focussed on the important theme of blood cancers. It contains a number of feature articles written for us around that topic by Dr Silvia Ling, Dr Vince Roche, Rare Cancers Australia, and the Leukaemia Foundation. The material provides much needed information about this lesser-known aspect of the cancer field. If you did miss out on the flip-style A5 booklet, with the Health Guide at the other end, copies will still be available if you enquire at the Southern Highland News office or at the Cancer Centre within the Private Hospital. Our Directory can now also be read online, courtesy of Fairfax special publications, as an interactive digital magazine. Just go to our Directory tab above and click on the link provided on that page.


Can Assist’s new venue
Starting with the June meeting, the monthly coming together of local Can Assist volunteers will now be held at the Mittagong RSL Club, in place of BDCU, which is no longer able to assure that a room would be available. The support of the BDCU in providing a meeting place, completely free of charge, was much appreciated by the local charity whose funds are spent entirely in assisting cancer patients in the Wingecarribee. For the time being, the monthly meetings of members will be held at the RSL Club, still at 10am, with a view to making a firm arrangement for the forthcoming year.



Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

With the provocative slogan of “Get behind it !”, the Bowel Cancer Awareness campaign continues throughout June. This form of cancer, less acknowledged and less discussed than it really should be, remains a major cause of death among Australians. Something like 80 lives are lost every week to cancers of the bowel. Hence the eye-catching approach being taken to raise awareness of the issue and motivate more people to act on protecting their own health. Red Apple Day is on June 20th to help spread the message. More information is available – just go to http://www.bowelcancerawarenessmonth.org


“Stars of the Highlands Dance for Cancer”
A great night and a great result on the fundraising front for the dance extravaganza. This year’s event, following on the success of the initial one last year, was even bigger and better and resulted in raising around $53,000. These funds will go towards Cancer Council’s projects in the region, including continuing support for their services in transporting local cancer patients to and from their medical appointments and treatment. The winners of the dance event were Patrick Glanville and Monique Barrios, who also took out best costume, and the trophy for most funds raised went to Joh Bailey, with more than $13,000 donated. A fantastic achievement by all concerned and a new way to have fun in aid of a good cause.

Coming Events
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month with Red Apple Day on the 20th
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. June 26 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, June 27
• “Passion on the Field” an RCA event at Royal Randwick, July 7 – all details can be found on the Rare Cancers website at https://www.rarecancers.org.au/events
• Can Assist Meeting at Mittagong RSL Club, not BDCU, 10am July 10.
Please note the change of venue.
*  Cancer Support Group : Please note that the meeting planned for 24th July has been cancelled.

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


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Cancer Connections - April 2018

Thursday, April 19, 2018

YWCA Encore program
Breast cancer survivors in the Southern Highlands are fortunate to have an opportunity to take part in the next YWCA Encore program which will commence in Mittagong this May. Encore is more than a free exercise and information program : it provides the opportunity for women to connect with other women who share a similar experience. The program is delivered by YWCA to women who have experienced breast cancer at any time in their life.

If you or someone you know is interested in joining the program, the next course will run on Wednesdays, from May 9th to June 27th, 1pm-3pm. For more information check out their website www.ywcaencore.org.au Registration is essential : Contact Encore’s Co-ordinator, Vicki Totsis, on 02 9285 6264 or email to encore@ywcansw.com.au


“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 identities will provide the dance entertainment for this Cancer Council fundraiser which will provide 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 patients to treatment. Kelly Dinnerville, Cancer Council’s organiser, reports that the venue will again be Mittagong RSL on May 18th. Information and tickets are available at club reception and from the website : www.mittagongrsl.com.au/event/stars-of-the-southern-highlands

A Most Fitting Award
Last month I mentioned the unstinting work which Mittagong resident Joan Harrison has done for many years as the Volunteer Co-ordinator of the General and Practical Support (GAPS) program. It is therefore no surprise at all that Joan’s dedication to that task has been recognised through a prestigious Cancer Council Divisional Award for Community Engagement and Program Delivery. Such recognition is reserved only for employees and volunteers who have made an exceptional contribution over a sustained period of time.

Look Good Feel Better workshop

This valuable YWCA program returns to the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre on May 2nd . LGFB is a free community service dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment. Participants will have a practical two-hour workshop which leaves them empowered and ready to face their cancer diagnosis with confidence. For further details, visit the LGFB webpage this website by using the QuickLink on the Left Hand Side of screen. Please note that it is important to register before the workshop.



Cancer Services Directory 2018
We have had word from Southern Highland News that the 2018 issue of our Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory will now be published in the Friday June 15th issue of the newspaper. The A5 booklet, issued free as part of the paper’s program of special publications, will have as its focus the important topic of blood cancers.

Coming Events
• Rotary BowelCare test kits available - $15 from local pharmacies, April-May
• Bowral Women’s Bowling Club are holding their Annual Fashion Parade in support of Can Assist, Fri. April 20, 11 for 11.30am. Bookings : 48612445 or 48622695
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. April 24 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, April 25
• ‘Look Good Feel Better’ workshop, Cancer Centre, May 2
• Can Assist Meeting at BDCU Bowral, 10am, Tues. May 8
• YWCA Encore program, Mittagong, from May 9 to June 27
• “Stars of the Highlands Dance for Cancer” event, Mittagong RSL, Fri. May 18

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


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Cancer Connections - March 2018

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Patient Transport Drivers’ celebration
Mittagong RSL was the venue for a celebration provided for the volunteer drivers who take cancer patients in the Cancer Council bus up to Campbelltown and back for anything up to five days per week. The function was held to mark the 10 year anniversary of this necessary service for Wingecarribee patients being treated at the Macarthur Cancer Therapy centre. It also recognised the achievement of Terry Liebmann who has been the volunteer local co-ordinator of the drivers for all that time. Terry has now stepped down from that role and the celebration acknowledged his essential contribution. I was able to call in for part of the event and what was impressive was the large group of drivers involved, men and women, and the great spirit which clearly exists between them. Maybe this explains the striking fact that, of the 12 original volunteers, 8 of them are still taking part after 10 years. Their excellent assistance to patients has been further recognised by the fact that Cancer Council has just provided a brand new bus to replace the original one.



Pictured above are the team of bus drivers who make the system work. 

Retiring co-ordinator, Terry Liebmann, is standing 5th from the right.


Rotary BowelCare program
I have received word from BowelCare Australia that their voluntary screening program carried out under the auspices of the Rotary Club of East Gosford will be operating all through April and May this year. This means that anytime in those two months people can purchase a BowelCare test kit for $15 from local pharmacies. The price includes pathology testing, with notification of your result to both yourself and your nominated doctor. Your result will be issued within 30 days of your test kit being received by pathology. Most of our local pharmacies take part in the program and a full listing is available on the website www.bowelcare.org.au

Blood Cancer Support Group

For some time now, people who are blood cancer patients in the Southern Highlands have had support available through The Leukaemia Foundation. Part of this help involved the benefit of having a blood cancer support group which was co-ordinated by Rachael Seath. A new co-ordinator has now been appointed to that role : Snezana Djordjevic and she can be contacted at the Leukaemia Foundation’s Wollongong office on 4222 0601. Their useful website is at http://leukaemia.org.au and their email address is info@leukaemia.org.au


Cancer Services Directory 2018
On the same theme, the 2018 issue of our Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory will have as its focus the important topic of blood cancers. A number of special articles will cover aspects of this lesser-known area of the cancer field with the lead article written by a haematologist. Our Directory will be published in May this year in an issue of the Southern Highland News as one of their Special Publications. Anyone wishing to advertise in that A5 booklet can contact the sales staff at the News office on 4861 2333.

New Co-ordinator for GAPS

A quick mention that we now have Cheryl Hinton assisting with the co-ordination of the GAPS program. Cheryl is a most welcome recruit since she provides relief for Joan Harrison who has fulfilled that role so well over so many years. You can read more about the General and Practical Support service here on this website; just go to the QuickLink on the LHS of screen. The GAPS contact number remains the same : 0428681926 M-F, 9am-5pm.


Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. March 27 RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, March 28
• Can Assist Meeting at BDCU Bowral, 10am, April 10

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


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Cancer Connections - January 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Cancer Council campaign
The campaign agenda for 2018 has now been decided by over 1000 advocacy volunteers for Cancer Council NSW. The CanAct volunteers have chosen five major issues to focus on during this year and leading up to the State election next year. They will be campaigning to :

   • support people with lymphoedema

   • protect the community from tobacco

   • improve access to medical cannabis

   • protect our kids from junk food marketing

   • employ more Aboriginal workers in cancer services.

In the past, campaigns by CanAct members have achieved much to reduce cancer rates and improve outcomes for patients, most recently seen with the success in gaining additional funding for palliative care in the 2017 Budget. More will be heard about these issues when action gets underway in the coming months.

Sunday @ Centennial

This catchy title is to promote the forthcoming Can Assist Luncheon to be held at Centennial Vineyards restaurant on Sunday, February 11th. With welcome drinks at noon followed by the 3 course lunch commencing at 1pm, entertainment by Johnny Spitz, and Dr Riton Das as the guest speaker, the afternoon promises to be another great fundraiser for our local cancer charity. Tickets can be purchased by contacting Aurelia on 0474647506 or by email to aurelia@ozemail.com.au The event is being held in conjunction with a raffle offering fabulous prizes. All profits go to Can Assist Southern Highlands. Full details are given on the Latest News & Events column on this website.


New Research into Bowel Cancer
Bowel cancer is the second most common cancer in Australia, with approximately 17,000 new cases diagnosed last year. Women have a 1 in 15 chance of getting bowel cancer in their lifetime, while men have a 1 in 10 chance. The survival rate has only slightly increased to 67% in the last decade. That’s why it is essential that research is directed into the prevention and treatment of bowel cancer.

Cancer Council NSW committed funding of $360,000 in 2016 to the Valerie Enid Legge Project Grant led by Professor Xu Dong Zhang at the University of Newcastle. Prof Zhang has made an important discovery : that a certain protein is linked to the development of advanced bowel cancer. His team has found that blocking this protein has the potential to slow down the growth of the cancer cells. This finding represents a big step towards creating personalised bowel cancer therapies that are effective in treating the disease at the molecular level.

Mount Kosciuszko Challeng 2018
Rare Cancers Australia will again be holding their exciting climb from Thredbo to the summit. This year's event (the 6th) will take place on Saturday, March 17. Last year's climb raised over $140,000 to help patients with rare or less common cancers. Full details are on the RCA website at https://www.kosichallenge.com.au

Coming Events
• Can Assist fundraiser lunch “Sunday @ Centennial”, February 11th. See item above.
• Can Assist meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Next meeting will be at BDCU, Bowral, 10am Feb 13
• Southern Highlands Cancer Centre Support Group will not meet in January. Next meeting 10am, Tues. Feb 27, RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. Feb 28
* Mount Kosciuszko Challenge for Rare Cancers Australia, Sat. March 17
• “The March Charge” is on in 2018. See Cancer Council NSW website 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 - 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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