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 - December 2017

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Donation from Oxley College students
A substantial donation of around $800 has been made by students from Oxley College to the high-profile local charity Can Assist. The funds will go towards their special account “Can Assist Families” which is solely dedicated to channelling support to those families where a member - whether a parent or a child - is affected by cancer. Students and their parents contributed generously again this year as they did previously in 2016. Can Assist’s financial help for families has a particular focus where a parent is a cancer patient unable to work yet still supporting young children. So we can say “Well done” to all those involved at Oxley : students, parents and staff.

Prostate cancer research results
Researchers at Cancer Council NSW have shed light on factors that contribute to a risk of prostate cancer which is one of the most common cancers in Australian men. One in five males can develop the disease before the age of 85. The study carried out during 2016-17 identified those factors that appear to double the risk, such as : having a father with a history of prostate cancer; a previous diagnosis of prostatitis (inflammation of the prostate gland) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlargement of the prostate); and the number of sexual partners in a lifetime. Being overweight or obese was also associated with increased risk but to a lesser extent. No association was found between prostate cancer and certain suspected risk factors such as circumcision, vasectomy, vertex balding, erectile function, acne, asthma or diabetes.

Men’s Health month
Another successful round of four sessions was held throughout November with local medical practitioners giving up their time to inform us about their special fields. Put together again by Tom Carroll, Peter van Dort, and the team from WHAM, these evening forums have been very well presented and extremely educational for men and for women too. Many thanks to all concerned : presenters and organisers.

Cancer Services Directory 2018
Current indications are that next year’s issue of our annual Directory will be published a little later, probably in May.

Season’s wishes
At this time of the year, as we prepare to celebrate all our blessings with family and friends, it is well to remember that there are those in our community who are less favoured. Fortunately there are so many in the Southern Highlands district who continually help to earn our reputation for generosity to others, whether by giving financially or by making the time to volunteer. To all those of generous heart, our committee sends a genuine “Thank You” and sincere good wishes for the coming season.

Coming Events
• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group will not meet in December or January.
• Can Assist will not meet in January.
• Can Assist fundraiser “Sunday @Centennial”, February 11th. See full details in the News & Events section of this website.
• Next Can Assist meeting will be at BDCU, Bowral, 10am February 13th.
• Next meeting of the Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group, 10am, Tues. Feb. 27.

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


Cancer Connections - January 2016

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Breast Cancer Support Group reforms

The good news is that a support group for breast cancer patients and survivors in the Southern Highlands has been re-activated. The new group will be having its first meeting at the Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, on Wednesday, January 27th. This is due to the initiative of the volunteer facilitator, Lesley McPherson. For more information, ring Lesley on 0438 001177 or email to

There is also continuing support for men diagnosed with prostate cancer. This is available by contacting Tom Carroll, the organiser of the Prostate Support Group, on 0419 482208 or email to

Advance Notice of Can Assist Luncheon

The local branch of Can Assist will be holding a luncheon at Summerlees Estate, Illawarra Highway, Sutton Forest, 12 for 12.30pm, on Sunday, March 6th. Tickets for this event will be taken up quickly, so for all bookings and enquiries, please telephone Aurelia Grigore-Reid on 4861 3234 or 0418 466 739; or else email to

Cancer Services Directory 2016
The 8th edition of our Southern Highlands Cancer Sevices Directory will be published as a free booklet with an issue of the Southern Highland News in late March. For this year’s edition, the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee has chosen to base its articles around the issue of rare and less common cancers. In doing this, we are acknowledging and supporting the work of the organisation, Rare Cancers Australia, which was founded by its energetic Directors, Richard and Kate Vines, of Bowral.

Relay For Life 2016
As the co-ordinating committee gets everything together, it’s a good time to make note of some of the changes for this year’s Relay : new venue at Moss Vale Showground; new times from 12 noon Saturday to 12 noon on Sunday. The dates : April 2nd – 3rd.

Mount Kosciuszko Challenge

Rare Cancers Australia will be holding their climb to the top of Mount Kosciuszko on March 12 this year. This annual event to raise funds through supporters and sponsors has a target this year of 100 people taking part in the climb. Details are on the Rare Cancers website at

Tenpin Bowling for WHAM
The next fundraiser for the Wingecarribee Health Association for Men (WHAM) – the organisers of the November Men’s Health Forums - will be a Highlands Tenpin event at Mittagong on Friday, March 18. For bookings and all information, telephone 4871 1600.

Coming Events
• Breast Cancer Support Group, Mittagong RSL, 10am-12 noon, Wed. Jan. 27
• World Cancer Day will be on Thursday, February 4th
• Can Assist meeting, Thursday, February 11th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital

• 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 :

• Southern Highlands Cancer Support Group meet at the private hospital, 10am on Feb. 23rd. RSVP Jo or Katie on 4862 9470
• Can Assist luncheon at Summerlees, 12 for 12.30pm, March 6. See above.
  Look Good Feel Better program, Cancer Centre, 10am-12.30pm, March 8
• Rare Cancers Australia hold Mount Kosciuszko Challenge, March 12
• Highlands Tenpin in aid of men’s health forums, Fri. March 18. Telephone 4871 1600
• Relay For Life 2016 on Sat.-Sun. April 2-3 at Moss Vale Showground

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - October 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October is Pink Month

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in Australia, with a new case diagnosed every hour. Wear a Pink Ribbon in October and help increase awareness about breast cancer or get the girls together for a ‘Girls Night In’. You can also help raise funds for breast cancer research by registering to volunteer time at one of the local sites on merchandise day, which is Friday 24th October. (The official National Pink Ribbon Day will be on Monday 27th.) For further information please visit Local sites will be at Springetts Arcade and Mittagong Marketplace.

Men’s Health Month

November in the Southern Highlands will see a series of free information sessions on men’s health featuring speakers who are all from our local medical community. These events will be held at the Moss Vale Golf Club, starting at 6.00pm (sharp) through to 7.30pm on each Thursday evening. 

The speakers will be : Dr Lalak (urologist) and Dr Barnett (GP) Nov 6th; Dr Quinn (cardiologist), Dr Sparkes (GP) and Lucy Forbes (Physiotherapist)  Nov 13th; Dr Leicester (orthopaedic surgeon), Dr Roche (GP) and Rachel van der Meer (Exercise Physiologist)  Nov 20th; and Dr Wikramanyaka (bowel specialist), Dr Lewis (GP) and Rachel van der Meer (speaking as a Dietician) Nov 27th. All men and women are welcome. For further information, telephone the organiser, Tom Carroll, on 0419482208 or email

Can Assist’s "Venice Carnivale"

Bendooley Estate, Berrima is the setting for a special dinner and auction on Thursday, 20th November. The evening has an Italian theme and guests are to be dressed “glamorous and masked”. The theme derives from an original framed picture of the San Marco Piazza generously donated by its artist, Prof. Desmond Freeman, a strong supporter of Can Assist. This beautiful painting and many other unusual and valuable items will be available in the “Amazing Mystique Auction”. 

The spectacular event is a major fundraiser for the Southern Highlands branch of Can Assist which is currently helping 60 patients with pharmacy bills, transport costs, accommodation at treatment centres, oxygen, palliative care, and respite night nursing. Full details are shown in the “News and Events” item on this website. For inquiries, telephone 0475 522 159 or email Tickets are $185 each and are available at

Volunteers helping others

Can you volunteer to help cancer patients in our GAPS program ? The General and Practical Support service is available in the Wingecarribee to people undergoing cancer treatment. Training for volunteers is provided by Cancer Council NSW. You can assist preparing light snacks; shopping; respite for a carer; and transport to medical appointments or to connect with the Patient Transport Service. Whether you are helping a patient or their carer, your assistance will be greatly appreciated by people who are facing a most serious challenge to their health. If you would like to take part, phone Tina Hunt at Cancer Council on 4223 0200.

Rare Cancers Australia

A reminder of two events : The inaugural “Sick or Treat” Halloween Ball on Friday 31st October at The Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney and the 3rd Annual Rare Cancers Cricket Challenge at Bradman Oval on Sunday 2nd November. Proceeds go to help Australians in need of cancer medication not funded by government. For more information on both these events, visit the website or phone 02 4862 2768.

Coming Events

• October is Pink Month : ‘Girls Night In’ and Pink Ribbon events are on
• Pink Ribbon Day, Fri. Oct. 24th. Tables at Springetts & Mittagong Marketplace
• National Bandanna Day is on October 31st
• Men’s Health Month events in November. Please see details above.
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs. Nov. 13th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital
• “Venice Carnivale” for Can Assist, Thurs. Nov. 20th at Bendooley Estate

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - July 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Prostate cancer outside the cities

Research recently published in the “Medical Journal of Australia” shows that men with prostate cancer in regional and rural areas of NSW have significantly lower survival rates than their city dwelling counterparts. The study looked at the geographic differences in 10-year survival rates for prostate cancer in NSW and found that men living in rural NSW are 32% more likely to die from prostate cancer than men from the city. The good news was that, in the last two decades, 10-year survival rates have increased from 57% to 84%. However the inequality between regional and city survival rates has not reduced.

Why ? Some possible reasons : men from regional and rural areas are less likely to get diagnosed; or less access to services; or a culture of self reliance and independence among men in rural communities leads to less use of available services. All the details of the research report are available, just click here.

Residents in the Southern Highlands who seek information or support on prostate matters can contact our local support group by ringing its organiser, Tom Carroll, on 0419482208.

Daffodil Day, Friday, August 22nd - Show You Care
The golden daffodil, so well-identified with Cancer Council, was chosen as the symbol of hope for all affected by cancer because of its reputation as a hardy annual flower, pushing its way through the earth after a long winter to herald the return of spring, new life, vitality and growth. As one of the first flowers of an approaching spring, the daffodil symbolises rebirth and new beginnings. To Cancer Council, the daffodil represents hope for a cancer-free future. This year the wonderful band of volunteers will be out in our community raising funds on Daffodil Day, Friday, August 22nd. Some collections may take place on nearby days.

Plain packaging of cigarettes is working
An article published on June 24th in the Sydney Morning Herald showed that, contrary to recent misinformation from the tobacco industry, Australia’s world-first introduction of plain packaging is already leading to health benefits. The author, Professor David Currow, is Chief Cancer Officer and CEO, Cancer Institute NSW. He listed two purposes of this long-term public health policy : to reduce the attractiveness of smoking to consumers – most importantly young people – and to increase the visibility of graphic health warnings.

Prof. Currow reported that, since the introduction of plain packaging in 2012, there has been solid, peer-reviewed and transparent evidence of its effectiveness. This is seen in the significantly greater numbers of people calling the Quitline after the introduction of plain packaging and in the increase in smokers' urgency to quit. This is in line with figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing a decline in tobacco sales. The policy, however, is a measure designed to work as part of a comprehensive tobacco control strategy and its full efficacy should be observed over time.

Community Hospice forum

Do you have questions you would like answered about death and dying, but you've never known who to ask ? Here is advance notice of an information forum being organised by Southern Highlands Community Hospice Inc. They have come up with a striking title : “Dying To Know Day” and it will be held at the Mittagong RSL Club, 10am to 3pm on Saturday, August 23rd. Full details are provided in our News & Events item click here, or visit the hospice website at

Coming Events
• “Dry July” is a month for raising funds for families with cancer
• “Call to Arms” in July - football teams support action against cancer
• Jeans for Genes Day is on Friday, August 1st
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs., August 14th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital.
• Daffodil Day will raise funds for Cancer Council on Friday, August 22nd
• Community Hospice “Dying To Know Day”, Mittagong RSL, 10am-3pm Aug. 23rd

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - September 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dog Show helps children with cancer

In the August column, I gave a mention to the local organisation Children’s Cancer Welfare Services and their great work in raising funds to help rural children with cancer. They have a major event coming up : the All Breeds Championship Dog Show will be held at Erskine Park on Friday & Saturday, November 15-16. Presented by the Children’s Cancer Charity Dog Club, the various classes for different breeds will appeal to many dog owners. For details and entries, contact Mr T. Couchman on (02) 4389 4877 or mobile 0428 119 391 or email Entries close on Oct. 18th and can be made online at

Information about the Prostate

The local Prostate Support Group has organised a meeting to provide information about the prostate gland. They’re calling it a "Dikileaks" session to be held on Tuesday, 24th September. This will feature Jacqui Bennet RN, the Continence Advisor from Wingecarribee Community Health, who will explain everything about this sensitive topic. The meeting will be in the Henrietta Rose Room, Bendooley Street, Bowral, near the Bowral Library, starting at 6.00 pm. All welcome. Full details are on our "News and Events" webpage.

Two Support Programs running locally
* Look Good…Feel Better : A free program to help women cope with the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy by restoring patients’ appearance and self-confidence. October 22nd, 10am-12.30pm at the Southern Hospital Private Hospital. For further information click here. For bookings, contact  Jo Pearson 4862 9472 or email Joanne Meehan at  

* YWCA Encore is for women who have experienced mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction surgery at any time in their lives. The gentle floor and hydrotherapy exercises are specifically designed to improve movement, flexibility and strength after surgery. The sessions also provide a time and a space for relaxation, information sharing and discussion amongst women who have been through a similar experience. A free 8-week program will be held at Mittagong on Wednesdays 1-3pm from 16th October to 4th December 2013. You can find more information online at For bookings, telephone (02) 9285 6264 or contact the program by email :

Do we know of your cancer service ?
If you provide a service for cancer patients and carers, or you host a cancer support group, and we don’t know about it, then it probably won’t appear in the 2014 issue of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory. Our committee is currently planning next year’s issue which will focus on local cancer support groups and service providers. So, if you would like to be given a free listing for the very first time, or you are interested in advertising in the booklet and you haven’t done so before, please get in touch with me. Contact details are below.

Coming Events
• “Dikileaks” prostate information session, Henrietta Rose Room, 6pm, Sept. 24.
• Can Assist’s next meeting will be the Annual Branch Meeting, at 10am, Thursday, Oct. 10th, in the Lecture room at the old Bowral Hospital
• YWCA Encore program over 8 weeks at Mittagong on Wednesdays 1-3pm from Oct. 16th to Dec. 4th 2013. Telephone 02 9285 6264 or contact the program by email
• Look Good…Feel Better program : Oct 22nd, 10am-12.30pm at SHPH. For bookings, contact Jo Pearson at SHCC 4862 9472 or email Joanne Meehan
• Children’s Cancer Charity Dog Club’s Dog Show, Erskine Park, Nov. 15-16

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 - January 2013

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cancer Services Directory 2013
Your copy of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory for 2013 will be available in the issue of the Southern Highland News on Wednesday, February 27th. In this 5th edition of the publication, we have kept our commitment to give a special focus to men’s health in the articles provided. In addition, the booklet will, as always, list the services available locally to assist cancer patients and their families. These 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.

Prostate Support Group – Official Launch
The formation of a Prostate Support Group for the Southern Highlands moves along at a great pace. The official launch has now been planned for Tuesday, February 5th with a meeting at 6pm in the Henrietta Rose Room near the Bowral Library. There will be two guest speakers for the evening : Dr. Nestor Lalak (Urologist) and Lucy Forbes (Physiotherapist). The invitation is open to all who are interested in seeing this group established in the district. For more information contact Tom Carroll on 0419482208 or email

New laws restrict smoking in outdoor areas
From January 7 this year new laws have come into force in New South Wales declaring some outdoor areas to be smoke-free. Areas where smoking is now prohibited include public swimming pools, sports grounds, bus stops, taxi ranks, train station platforms, and within 10 metres of children's playgrounds.

The State Government should be applauded for its action on this policy which has allowed us to somewhat catch up. Comprehensive statewide smoking bans have been successfully implemented in Western Australia, Queensland, the ACT and Northern Territory. Tasmania and South Australia are legislating with the same purpose. Unfortunately, outdoor dining areas in NSW will not be included until July 2015 because of the Government’s pre-election deal with Clubs NSW. 

It should be noted that these measures will have the positive effect of reducing the amount of secondhand smoke inhaled by non-smokers. While no-one will be prevented from smoking tobacco, it will mean that they cannot do so in outdoor situations where they could adversely affect the health of others. NSW Health reports that smoking causes around 5,200 deaths and 44,000 hospitalisations in this State per year.

Coming Events
• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
• World Cancer Day supporting treatment and prevention of cancer :
“Together it is possible” - February 4th
• Prostate Support Group official launch, Henrietta Rose Room, 6pm, Feb. 5th
• Can Assist meeting, 10am Thursday, Feb. 14th at the old Bowral Hospital
• Hospice Week is February 25th to March 4th - Event schedule is now available :
   Please see our News and Events section.
• Cancer Services Directory 2013 to be published in SH News, Feb. 27th

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - December 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Progress for Prostate Support Group

The formation of a Prostate Support Group for the Southern Highlands is definitely another step closer. An initial information session which I chaired in November was addressed by the organiser, Tom Carroll, and two representatives from the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia. That meeting showed that there is genuine interest in establishing a local group to provide information and advice to men diagnosed with prostate issues. A number of men present volunteered to assist in doing this. We now look forward to an official launch to be held in February 2013. Full details will be given on this website when available. Meanwhile, Tom can be contacted by email at or on 0419 482208.

Pictured : A section of the audience attending the November information session.

Research finding to reduce skin cancer
Cancer Council NSW researchers have found a low-cost and effective method to prevent the non-melanoma skin cancers which are so common in Australia. We all know that UV radiation can cause skin cancer. It does this in two ways : by mutation of skin cells and by suppression of the immune system that would normally fix those mutations. The research found that vitamin B3 (nicotinamide), when taken as a pill or when rubbed on the skin, reduces this suppression of the immune system. This research finding by Prof. Diona Damian has the potential to significantly improve skin cancer treatment and prevention. Treatment of non-melanoma skin cancer in Australia currently costs upwards of $300 million per year.

Cancer Services Directory 2013
Work is now nearing completion on the detailed listings and the articles to go in the next issue of the Southern Highlands Cancer Services Directory. This, our 5th edition, will be a first for us in a way because we have given over the whole of the text articles to the topic of men’s health. This is an area which has deserved greater attention for some time. Any business which missed out on advertising in the 2012 issue and wishes to be included next year should contact the sales staff at Southern Highland News. The Directory is due out in late February and copies will be available in the Southern Highland News on the day of issue.

Seasons Greetings
It’s that time already, isn’t it ? Time to remember all the people whom we value and who make our lives immeasurably better. Not surprisingly, we think of our family and friends first. But out there in the wider community we are reminded that there are many who make this community of ours such a caring and supportive place to live. I am mindful that my thanks are due to so many : to all our volunteers, supporters, fund-raisers, advertisers and donors; to the members of our Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee; and of course to you, the readers of this column. To all : best wishes for a safe and enjoyable holiday season.

Coming Events
• February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
• World Cancer Day supporting treatment and prevention of cancer :
“Together it is possible” - February 4th

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


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