Best prac­tice for breast can­cer

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By EMILY BAKER

WHEN Lisa Tobin-Renel was first di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer, she said there were no ser­vices like Breast Can­cer Care WA avail­able.

On top of re­ceiv­ing the dev­as­tat­ing di­ag­no­sis in 2000, she had the added pres­sure of re­search­ing treat­ment op­tions and med­i­cal queries with­out on­go­ing pro­fes­sional sup­port.

Ms Tobin-Renel said last week’s an­nounce­ment that the non-profit would ap­point two ad­di­tional McGrath Breast Can­cer Care nurses at its Cottes­loe fa­cil­ity would give oth­ers the help she wished she’d had early on.

“It’s in­valu­able – not only do you have per­son­alised sup­port with the nurses and the coun­cil­lors, but you also ac­cess sup­port groups,” Mrs Tobin-Renel said.

De­spite un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy, ra­di­a­tion, two surg­eries, as well as hav­ing to take med­i­ca­tion, Mrs TobinRenel was di­ag­nosed with metastatic breast can­cer, which then spread to her bones.

She said she wel­comed the news that one of the new nurses would in­clude WA’s first solely ded­i­cated to the in­cur­able can­cer.

“We are lucky enough here in WA that we’ve got one that is spe­cific for metastatic ladies, as the needs are quite dif­fer­ent to early breast can­cer,” Mrs Tobin-Renel said.

McGrath Breast Care nurse Moira Wa­ters said from 2013-14 they saw 115 pa­tients with metastatic breast can­cer and the new nurses funded through the McGrath Foun­da­tion ini­tia­tives and char­ity events would pro­vide spe­cial­ist care.

“Just be­ing told the di­ag­no­sis of you’ve got sec­ondary breast can­cer can be very fright­en­ing,” Ms Moira said.

“The ser­vices are re­ally in­di­vid­u­alised – fi­nan­cials might be a big prob­lem be­cause they are not able to stay in the work­force; they might be fa­tigued from the side-ef­fects of treat­ment.

“So we can ac­tu­ally also give fi­nan­cial sup­port.” Breast Can­cer Care ser­vices are free.

Pic­ture: Marie Nirme­mu­ni­ d439360

Breast can­cer pa­tient Lisa Tobin-Renel with McGrath Breast Care nurse Moira Wa­ters.

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