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 - November 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Relay For Life Southern Highlands
Relay 2018 proved to be a successful fundraising venture for Cancer Council’s multiple services in support of cancer patients. Despite unfavourable weather and the expectation of a lower attendance, the October event still drew 600 participants who carried on the strong tradition of our district’s backing for such activities. With charities right across the board facing reduced incomes in difficult economic times and cost-of-living pressures, it was heartening that $135,000 has already been achieved and further funds are still being received. The total was boosted by the generous donation on behalf of the Sharp family. Monies raised go to fund a number of local initiatives provided by Cancer Council along with their statewide research program on the causes and treatment of many different types of cancer.

Community Hospice
At last the Wingecarribee Shire Council has given approval to the DA submitted for the Community Hospice which is planned to be built at 104-106 Bowral Street, Bowral. A most significant milestone on the journey has now been passed. After such a fraught process in getting this proposal through Council, the Board of the Southern Highlands Community Hospice Ltd will now be able to proceed with their immense task of realising their dream. What was always envisaged was to create specialist palliative care facilities by operating a 10-bed inpatient purpose-built hospice for those who could no longer be cared for in their own home. What is planned will be a welcome addition to existing medical and nursing capabilities in the Wingecarribee. The AGM for members of Southern Highlands Community Hospice Ltd will be held, 6.00 for 6.30 pm, Thursday, November 22, at Annesley, Bowral.

Palliative Care Services
While recognising the importance of progress towards a Community Hospice, we should also acknowledge at the same time what wonderful palliative care services are presently available in the Southern Highlands. For patients with a terminal cancer diagnosis, and for others faced with equally severe medical conditions, the quality of end-of-life care being provided here is exceptional. Thanks to the outstanding work of Mira Glavan, Clinical Nurse Consultant in Palliative Care, nursing and volunteer services in our district continue to be provided at a high standard. Their work is supported by doctors who specialise in this field; the equipment needed to help maintain a person in their home is also organised. Doctors and nurses play a crucial role at this time in the critical issue of appropriate medication. However, when care becomes necessary on a 24/7 basis for a person living alone, staying at home is no longer an option. This is such a time when the bricks-and-mortar hospice is needed.

Coming Events
• Movember continues this month in aid of men’s health, particularly to deal with prostate cancer and depression
• SH Community Hospice AGM, 6.30pm, Thursday, Nov. 22 at Annesley
• Men’s Health forum concludes Monday, Nov. 26, 6pm at St Jude’s Auditorium, Bowral
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Nov. 27, RSVP Katie
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Nov. 28

• December is Decembeard : raising awareness of bowel cancer. See the website

• Please note : the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist will not be holding a meeting in December or January. The work of branch executive members will be carried on as usual. The next meeting will be on February 12th.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - December 2015

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Cancer Services Directory 2016

Our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee is currently planning next year’s Directory which will be published in the Southern Highland News in March. If you provide a service for cancer patients or carers and you would like to be given a free listing for the very first time, or if you wish to make an alteration to your current listing, please get in touch with me. Contact details are below.

Meeting with Jai Rowell
In late November I had a meeting with the State member for Wollondilly, Jai Rowell. This was in my role as the Cancer Council MP Liaison for that electorate. The role provides the opportunity to take up current cancer issues with the local member. On this occasion I raised two very important matters : the need for better services for lymphoedema patients, especially having more specialist lymphoedema therapists, and the continuing drive to increase the number of Aboriginal workers in NSW cancer services in order to improve outcomes for Aboriginal cancer patients. Jai was most supportive indeed and undertook to contact the Minister for Health on both of these issues.

Paws Pet Therapy thankyou
Following up on an item in last month’s column : Christmas parties are all the go at present, of course. But earlier this month I dropped in for a little while at a Christmas get together which was different to the usual, since half the partygoers were dogs. On a sunny Saturday at a local park, under the shade of big old trees, volunteers for Paws Pet Therapy gathered, along with their (leashed) dogs, for a big “Thank You” luncheon for everyone, organised by their team leader, Sharon Stewart.

Men’s Health Forums
I was able to go along to three of the November men’s health forums held in Bowral. They were very well-attended and the high quality of the presentations from local medicos and health professionals meant that those men, and women, attending the sessions learnt a great deal. Congratulations go to Tom Carroll, Peter van Dort, and Wingecarribee Health Association for Men (WHAM) for the excellent series of talks. 

Pictured : Assoc. Prof. Stephen Della-Fiorentina addressing the first men's forum. Stephen is the medical oncologist at the Cancer Centre and is also a foundation member of the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee.

The next fundraiser for WHAM will be a Highlands Tenpin event on Friday, March 18. For bookings and information, telephone 4871 1600.

Season’s greetings
Christmas is a great time to recognise all the good efforts of so many folk in our district who help others. Time to pause and reflect on the many achievements recorded during the last twelve months and then to look forward to what more can be done by our combined efforts next year. Sincere greetings of the season to all our volunteers and supporters throughout the district who do so much to benefit those with cancer.

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group’s next meeting at the private hospital will be at 10am on Dec. 22. RSVP Jo or Katie on 4862 9470
• Please note : our local Can Assist does not hold a branch meeting in January.
Next meeting will be on February 11th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• World Cancer Day will be on Thursday, February 4th

• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Hold an afternoon tea in February to support Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their website is at

• Here’s another cause : organise an Iced Tea Party for lymphoedema research, mid-Feb. to end of March. See the website :

• Highlands Tenpin event in aid of men’s health forums, Fri. March 18. See item above.
• Relay For Life 2016 on Sat.-Sun. April 2-3 at Moss Vale Showground

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - April 2013

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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.

BowelCare program resuming
We have now heard from the Rotary Club of East Gosford which organises the distribution of BowelCare test kits that they are resuming their program for 2013 with the same testing kit they have employed in the past. The latest information is that Southern Highlands pharmacies will have the kits available from May 4th (if not earlier) through to June 1st and should be receiving their supplies in late April. The last day for returning the kit for pathology testing is June 15th. With over 12,000 new cases of bowel cancer diagnosed in Australia every year, it is one of the most common forms. The good news however is that, if detected early, this is one cancer which is curable in so many cases. So, why not “Get checked”.

Emergency Care Kit available

One of the many services provided by the Commonwealth Government’s Respite and Carelink Centres is an Emergency Care kit. These Centres exist to assist older people, people with disabilities and those who provide care and services. The kit, which is free, provides four forms for recording all details of the plan for a patient's care. Part of the kit is a most useful card which a carer can keep in their purse or wallet. Should they be involved in an accident or any emergency, the card will show that they are a carer and provides the name and contact details for the person they look after. For more information about this and their numerous other services, you can contact this government agency on 1800 052 222 or to visit their website click here. 

Biggest Morning Tea

Another great fundraiser for Cancer Council is the annual Biggest Morning Tea. While a nominal date is set for Thursday, May 23 this year, not all groups who are organising their morning teas can hold them on the same day, so they may be held on any morning around that date. Not a problem. Maybe this means you get to go to more than one event ! And if you are thinking of getting one started yourself to raise some financial support, you can find out more from the Cancer Council website at


There has been increasing publicity lately about Australia’s need to improve its rate of organ and tissue donation, which is low by developed world standards. The DonateLife campaign encourages people to discuss this question first with their family, since they need to be aware of the person’s wishes. People willing to be listed on the Donor Register, or who would like to know more about the process and the issues involved, can do so by calling 1800 777 203 or going online at or visiting the local Medicare Service Centre.

Coming Events

• Carers NSW is conducting a number of 6-week teleconferencing courses to assist carers at no cost to participants. To find out more, call 1800 242 636 or go to

• Prostate Support Group meeting, Henrietta Rose Room, 6pm, April 30th
• BowelCare kits available at pharmacies, May 4th to June 1st.
• Lunch for Breast Cancer Support Group, May 5th – see website
• Can Assist meeting, 10am Thurs, May 9th at the old Bowral Hospital
• National Volunteer Week, May 13th – 19th
• Biggest Morning Teas will occur on Thursday, May 23rd or on nearby dates
• May 31st is always World No Tobacco Day.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - February 2013

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cancer Services Directory 2013
The issue of the Southern Highland News out on Wednesday February 27th will contain your copy of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory for 2013. With articles this time specially focussing on men’s health, this 5th edition will, as always, list the services available locally to assist cancer patients and their families. The listings are updated each year so that the information is as accurate as we can make it. Thanks are due to Southern Highland News and all the Directory’s sponsors who have made the publication possible.

Jo Pearson wins “Nurse of the Year” Award
The Rotary Club of Bowral-Mittagong have named their “Nurse of the Year” and the award has gone to Jo Pearson, a foundation member of our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee. This year the Rotary Club devoted their vocational award to the nursing profession and the names of many fine nurses were put forward. Jo Pearson, the Nursing Unit Manager at the Southern Highlands Cancer Centre, was nominated by our Committee and also by the Southern Highlands Private Hospital. At a ceremony on Tuesday, 19th February, Club president, Ray Williams, presented Jo with the perpetual trophy and an individual trophy for her to retain. The modest recipient was gracious in accepting this well-deserved award.

Patient Transport Service
One group of guys already well aware of health issues are those who turn out as volunteer drivers for the Patient Transport Service. The bus, provided by Cancer Council NSW, takes cancer patients from the Southern Highlands who require transport to the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre at Campbelltown for treatment or to see a doctor or specialist. Bookings are made either by telephoning the Cancer Council Southern Region office in Wollongong on 4223 0200 or by speaking with the staff at the Macarthur Centre. We should pay special recognition to all those drivers. It’s thanks to their readiness to give their time that this bus service has been so successful.

Prostate Support Group
The recently formed Southern Highlands Prostate Support Group held a most successful information evening on February 5th. More than 50 attended to learn more about prostate issues and were rewarded with two instructive presentations. Local physiotherapist Lucy Forbes stressed the importance of maintaining the strength of the pelvic floor muscle, while Dr. Nestor Lalak (a Bowral urologist) spoke knowledgeably about prostate problems, methods of treatment, and post-operative issues. Both speakers have strongly supported the formation of this group and were happy to answer numerous questions that were asked. For more information contact Tom Carroll on 0419482208 or email


     Pictured : Dr Nestor Lalak speaking at the information evening

“Live Well Now” Program
This valuable program of six sessions spread over two weeks provides the means to find peace while dealing with the stresses of living with an illness. Each 3½ hour session, conducted by Dr Louella Crawford, is held at the SH Private Hospital and the first commences on March 2nd. Cost is $240; bookings close February 25th. For more information or to book, contact Jo Pearson on 4862 9472.

Hospice Week events
Southern Highlands Community Hospice Committee has announced its schedule of events for Hospice Week 2013. While the "week" is officially February 25th to March 4th, the events have been spread a little wider than that to accommodate all the various activities planned. The current schedule is set out in the “News and Events” section of this website with details of the people to contact if you would like to attend any of the events or you can visit the hospice committee’s own website at

Coming Events
• Cancer Services Directory will be issued with SH News, Wed. Feb. 27th
• Teal Ribbon Day, Feb. 27th - Ovarian Cancer Australia
• SH Hospice Week is February 25th to March 4th. See details above.
• “Live Well Now” Program commences Sat. March 2nd. See above.
• Can Assist meeting, 10am Thurs, March 14th at the old Bowral Hospital
• Breast Cancer Support Group dinner, March 22nd. Visit

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - November 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

International Volunteer Day, 2012
Perhaps such days are often ignored by most people. There’s an International Day for this, World Day for that, etc. But I believe that, for a great many people in the Southern Highlands, International Volunteer Day, which occurs this year on December 5th, is quite a significant day. It’s when we should stop and reflect on what an amazing effort is made, month in month out, by so many volunteers in our own district. We have what seems like an army of volunteers here in the Southern Highlands, never tiring of turning out to give their time for a worthwhile cause. It’s even quite common to find folk who are volunteers for two or even three different organisations. What value such people contribute to the quality of life in this community. Maybe you could consider volunteering for a local group ?

The work of GAPS volunteers
One example of such local initiative is the work of those who volunteer in our General and Practical Support service (GAPS). They provide help to cancer patients and their carers, both in the home and by assisting with transport to medical appointments and so forth. This valuable effort by so many is organised through the tremendous commitment of the volunteer service co-ordinator, Joan Harrison. And a further local example are all the drivers for the Cancer Council Patient Transport Service who take cancer patients any weekday to their treatment at Campbelltown.

Pictured : GAPS volunteers (l. to r.) John Hinton, Joan Harrison (GAPS co-ordinator), Suzy Kennon and Nick Goodall, shown with Cancer Council Regional Programs Co-ordinator, Tina Hunt (second from right).
(Photo by courtesy of Southern Highland News)

Prostate Cancer Support Group being formed
Great strides are being made in forming a local support group for prostate cancer patients. A most successful fundraising event with solid support from Mittagong Tenpin Bowling was attended by 70 people and raised over $3,500. The next step will be the Information Evening organised for 6pm in the Henrietta Rose Room at Bowral Library on Tuesday, 27th November. The progress made on this issue is all due to the untiring efforts of another volunteer, Tom Carroll. Full details of the meeting for prostate cancer patients or survivors can be found on this website click here

Premier’s Award to Can Assist
News just to hand is that the fantastic work of the Can Assist organisation has been suitably acknowledged by their being chosen to receive the NSW Premier’s Award for Excellence in Public Service Delivery for 2012. The Award citation noted Can Assist’s ability to “consistently attract, motivate and retain highly committed volunteers for nearly six decades” and that Can Assist is “deserving of special recognition.” Can Assist CEO Richard Appleby said “it is timely recognition of the service which Can Assist supplies to country people in NSW so they are better able to deal with the inequities that rural and regional people face when dealing with a cancer diagnosis.”

The Southern Highlands branch has distributed over $48,000 to local cancer patients and families during the last 12 months, which was 93% of all monies raised. Branch Secretary Terry Hughes said to me : “One doesn't really need much motivation to try and help others, however recognition such as this is good for the morale !”

Can Assist has a simple phrase for what they do : “Local volunteers supporting local families affected by cancer”. I think that says it all.

Coming Events

• Movember, for men’s health, to focus on prostate cancer & depression in men
• “Living Well After Cancer” program, Nov. 24th. Telephone 1300 200 558.
• Prostate Cancer Support Group information night, 6pm, Nov. 27th
• International Volunteer Day, December 5th
• Can Assist meeting, 10am Thursday, Dec. 13th at the old Bowral Hospital

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - June 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Biggest Morning Teas

What a great number of Biggest Morning Teas were held in the Southern Highlands during May to raise funds for Cancer Council NSW. The generosity of folk in our district is just so heart-warming. I was able to attend the BMT held at the Bowral Uniting Church to say a “Thank You” and to speak about cancer services available locally. An enthusiastic group of more than 90 people enjoyed the tasty home-cooked delights and they raised $1720 that morning! A fantastic achievement.

Budget Details
The new cancer centre to be housed in the extension of facilities at Southern Highlands Private Hospital will answer an increased need for services. It means that more private and public patients can then be treated locally. Additional funding of $500,000 from the Federal Budget will supplement the hospital’s own allocation of $700,000. The proposal involves an increase in oncology chairs to 7; an oncology procedure room with 2 new beds; 3 dedicated consulting rooms; an interview room; and access to cancer information resources. Until the new centre is completed and operational, cancer services will continue to be provided at the current rental location in Holmhale Street.

Another health gain in the Budget is that the Bowel Cancer Screening Program now has a long-term future with its recurrent funding made secure. This will cost the Federal government $139 million over 4 years. Our new task will be to work on the next step forward : for those over 50, a more frequent screening than a one-off test.

Cancer Council Information Centre

You may have heard about the great work which volunteers do in providing support at the Information Centre in Bowral. Would you like to be one of those volunteers ? A comprehensive training course will soon be held but places are limited, so if you’re interested in attending, telephone the co-ordinator, Tina Hunt 4223 0215.


Work on developing a website for the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee is now heading towards completion. We see this as another way to create better access to local cancer services. All being well, by the July issue of this column it will have been launched. Full details then, so “Watch this space”.

Coming Events

Check the "News and Events" section of our website for more details of these events.
• “Call to Arms” by sporting groups throughout July.
• Can Assist Luncheon, Moss Vale Golf Club, Thursday July 28, 12 noon for 12.30pm; Guest Speaker : Mim Beim, Cost $45. Phone Glenda 4861 7377.
• Third Wednesday each month : Cancer Support Group. Henrietta Rose Room, Bowral, 7pm. Facilitator : Jann Wadsworth 48693830.
• Daffodil Day will be held on Friday August 26.
• Can Assist local branch are planning a fundraising event for late September.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)


Cancer Connections - May 2011

Sunday, May 01, 2011
Budget gains  The Federal budget has just brought welcome news of the allocation of $500,000 towards the extensions planned for Southern Highlands Private Hospital. More details will be made available in next month’s column on what the unit will be like but it means a new, expanded home for specialist cancer care and information services, with more oncology beds and facilities, all housed within the hospital building.
The End of an Era Major changes in the personnel of our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee have recently occurred. Three valuable members have now had to relinquish their positions in order to devote more time to other important priorities.

The Committee has received fabulous media support from Liz Martin and Natalie MacPherson, both members of the Highland News staff. It was Natalie who shepherded through the very first local Cancer Services Directory which is now into its third year of publication. So worthwhile was this Southern Highlands initiative that cancer support networks in other districts have taken the idea on board and issued similar publications for their areas. Thank you, Natalie and Liz, for your contributions.

What brings the era finally to a close is the resignation of Jonathan Purvis who has chaired our Committee throughout its first four years. Understandably, Jonathan has found he must spend more time on his thriving gardening and landscaping business <>. Through his enormous enthusiasm and his passion for getting cancer agencies better connected and co-ordinated, he has significantly improved the services available locally for cancer patients. The Committee paid high tribute to the long-term commitment he has given and farewelled him in a most suitable fashion. Well done, Jono. (Big shoes, as they say.)

Actually he does intend to still maintain his involvement, both by working with
Can Assist in a fund-raising venture (more on that next month) and by contributing to our website.

Design of the new website continues apace; we’re furiously writing copy for it at the moment. We have set ourselves the ambitious target of having it up and running by June’s end. So the work of the Committee goes on and will now be chaired by your new columnist.

Coming Events
Third Wednesday each month : Cancer Support Group.
Henrietta Rose Room, Bowral, 7pm. Facilitator : Jann Wadsworth 48693830.

Grahame Hackett
(Chair, SHCLC)


Cancer Connections - April 2011

Friday, April 01, 2011

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

The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee is also very pleased to be working with Shot to Pieces to put together the cancer web site specific to the Highlands. Progress is going well and fingers crossed, it will be completed by June. The web site will be easy to use and provide information and links to all you need to know about dealing with cancer in our region.

Our 3rd edition of the Cancer Services Directory now published and has been distributed with the Southern Highland News back in late February. Anyone who would like a copy, please pop in to the Cancer Specialist Centre in Holmhale Street, Bowral where they are still available. It will also soon be available on our web-site!!

On 27th March this year a Look Good, Feel Better programme took place at the Cancer Specialist Centre. Supported by the Cosmetic Industry of Australia everyone involved had a great time. If anyone would like to be involved in this programme, please contact Jo Pearson on 4861 2776

Third Wed - Cancer Support Group. 7pm Henrietta Rose Room. Contact Jann
each month Wadsworth 48693830. This week guest speaker local Pharmacist Peter England

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

“Did you know….”
The Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has now been operational four years!!! My, how time flies!!!

Jonathan Purvis (Chair - SHCLC)


Cancer Connections - Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Jonathan Purvis (Chair - SHCLC)


Cancer Connections - Dec 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dec 25th Christmas Day …. Yeah!!

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

Jonathan Purvis (Chair - SHCLC)


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