Best practice for breast cancer
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.
Breast cancer patient Lisa Tobin-Renel with McGrath Breast Care nurse Moira Waters.