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 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Biggest Morning Tea events
There has been a great response from Southern Highlanders to the Biggest Morning Tea events held at various locations on different days throughout the month of May. These enjoyable community events have traditionally been a valuable way of raising funds for Cancer Council projects while at the same time providing a good excuse to simply get together with friends. Everyone involved deserves praise “because every cup counts”. Many thanks also to Southern Highland News for the excellent coverage, not only after the events, but especially for the comprehensive listing beforehand to publicise where and when they were going to happen.

Community Speaking Visit
On the day after the Southern Highlands Christian School had held their own Biggest Morning Tea, I had the opportunity to pay a visit to the school. It was May 31st – World No Tobacco Day – but I had been invited there to speak to students about how to protect their skin from the various forms of skin cancer. This meant I put on my other hat since I was speaking with students from Year 5 through to Year 12 as part of Cancer Council’s Community Speaking program. 

We looked at matters like UV radiation, the daily UV alert, and how to protect one’s skin with a SunSmart policy. They were a great audience, getting involved in the topics raised and coming up with a bunch of questions which showed that they were engaged in the issues. Other schools, workplaces or community groups who wish to have a presentation on any cancer issue can arrange this by telephoning the Wollongong office on 4223 0200.

Some of the students pictured with me after our meeting (L to R) : Liam Ryde, Adiel Mkolo, Shayla Carl and Nathan Barrett.

Southern Highlands statistics
How do we stand as far as the incidence of cancer in our own district ? Good question - one for which we do have some answers. Using figures supplied by the NSW Central Cancer Registry and the Cancer Institute of NSW, we can say that prostate cancer is the most common cancer in the Southern Highlands, with nearly 60 new cases each year. Melanoma and breast cancer each show approximately 36 new cases each year. The other most common forms are bowel/colorectal and lung cancer.

Have a soft drink ?
I read of one study involving 60,000 participants which found that, if you drank more than two soft drinks each week, your risk of developing pancreatic cancer increased by a surprising 87%. The US-Singapore research pointed to increased sugar consumption as the possible cause, since the same increase was not found with diet soft drinks. (The average can of soft drink contains 7-10 teaspoons of sugar.)

Coming Events
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
• Red Aussie Apple Day, June 19th – buy a $2 apple pin plus an apple
• “Call to Arms” AFL games during July – Clash for Cancer
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs, July 11th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


Cancer Connections - August 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Daffodil Day is Friday, 24th August
This year’s Daffodil Day will show that the work of bodies like the Cancer Council gives HOPE. Hope that the causes of this disease will be better understood; hope that improved methods of treatment will result from all the research being undertaken; and hope that flows from knowing how much support there is in the community. Purchase a badge on the day and you are giving hope to cancer patients. And if you can spare the time to help out by volunteering to collect on that Friday, please contact Cancer Council on 4223 0200. Every daffodil and every donation grows hope.

Special Program : Living Well After Cancer
Cancer and its treatment can bring a host of practical challenges. Among them are the physical, emotional and social issues that may arise. This free 2½ hour program has been specially designed by Cancer Council NSW for the time when cancer treatment is finished. Course participants will have the chance to :
• Learn about the possible changes, challenges and opportunities they may face after completing cancer treatment;
• Have the opportunity to connect with others on a similar journey;
• Share tips, ideas and activities for living well after cancer.
If you are a Southern Highlands resident interested in attending this valuable program for cancer survivors, their family and friends, telephone 1300 200 558 to obtain further details.

Luncheon for volunteers
A recent Wednesday gave an opportunity for the Southern Region of Cancer Council NSW to recognise the work of its volunteers in the GAPS program. The Canary Café, Moss Vale, was an exceptional venue for the Thank You luncheon for this team of Southern Highlands residents who give their time so freely. General and Practical Support (GAPS) - the service previously called Volunteer In Home Support – provides help to cancer patients and their carers both in the home and with transport issues. Our trained volunteers have always spoken of the satisfaction they gain from helping others and the friendships which flow from working as part of a team. Wednesday provided another way for them to know how much their work is appreciated. For full details of this free service click here

SunSmart Program for Primary Schools
Schools in Southern NSW have been urged to catch up with the rest of the state when it comes to protecting children from skin cancer. “Good habits for life are formed during a child’s school years and the SunSmart Primary School Program will help students to grow up with sun safety top of mind,” said Tina Hunt from Cancer Council’s Southern Region office. “With more than 373 people facing melanoma in the Southern region in NSW each year, we encourage primary schools that have yet to join the program to sign up and protect students from the sun, not just in the summer months but all year round.” 

The program is all about teaching children the importance of sun safety in a fun and engaging way through online curriculum resources and fun lessons. Any Primary school which rings the SunSmart Infoline (02) 9334 1761 and comes on board before September 21st will receive $300 worth of Cancer Council sunscreen.

Coming Events
• Daffodil Day, Friday August 24 – a message of HOPE for those on the cancer journey
• Fruit ‘n’ Veg month commences on August 27
• Blue September aims to highlight cancer issues for men
• September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
• Fight Cancer Foundation Footy Colours Day, September 2
• Can Assist meeting, 10am Thursday, September 13 at the old Bowral Hospital

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)


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