Breast cancer is the most common cancer facing Australian women today. Going through breast cancer - and, indeed, recovering from breast cancer - is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things a woman can face.
Fortunately, there are organizations out there dedicated to helping you and your family through one of the toughest times in your lives. These are some of the organizations in Australia that devote their time, money and efforts to women with breast cancer, from diagnosis to recovery.
National Breast Cancer Foundation
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) raises money to fund life-changing breast cancer research, and is the only national body that does so. All their funds come from money donated by the Australian public and they are working towards a goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.
NBCF offers multiple programmes for women tackling all stages of breast cancer:
- National Mammogram Programme which provides mammograms for women who can’t afford them or who are uninsured.
- Beyond the Shock, a site dedicated to education and support for those diagnosed.
- Patient Navigation Programme which helps guide patients through and around barriers in the complex cancer care system to help ensure timely diagnosis, treatment, and support.
- Breast Health Awareness, which provides training, education and breast cancer resources.
Since it was established in 1994, NBCF has been awarded more than $140 million to 479 Australian-based research projects to improve the health and well-being of those affected by breast cancer. This has gone towards research that has helped develop better therapies, greater understanding of possible ways to stop the spread of breast cancer to other areas, and improving quality of life for patients and their families.
The McGrath Foundation was established in 2005 by Jane and Glenn McGrath and is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected charities. Their mission is to ensure that Australian families experiencing breast cancer have access to a breast care nurse no matter where they live or their financial situation. The McGrath Foundation also takes on an educative role, working to raise breast awareness among young women.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses help women (and their families) experiencing breast cancer by providing physical, psychological and emotional support. From diagnosis and throughout treatment, this support is offered for free whether you’re in the private or public health system. All you have to do is visit the McGrath website and find the nearest nurse.
More than 100 breast care nurses have been placed in communities across Australia and more than 60,000 families have been supported by the McGrath Foundation since 2005. The foundation relies on the support it receives from all over Australia – that includes individuals, communities, corporate partners and the government - who help by donating, hosting or attending events.
As of 2018, we are a McGrath Community Friend. We donate $1 from every sale to the McGrath Foundation. You can read more about this here.
Breast Cancer Network Australia
Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is the main national consumer organisation for Australians personally affected by breast cancer. The BCNA works to ensure that Australians affected by breast cancer receive the best support possible, information, treatment and care appropriate to their individual needs.
The BCNA offers the following:
- Support and information for women and families.
- Education resources
- “My Journey” kits for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer
- “My Care” kit for women following breast surgery
- A “Hope & Care” pack for women living with metastatic breast cancer
- Linking together women with breast cancer via their online support network
Cancer Australia develops and distributes clinical guidelines for ‘best practice’ health care to improve the diagnosis, treatment and support of women with breast cancer. It was established by the Australian Government in 2006 and aims to reduce the impact of all cancers and to improve the wellbeing of those diagnosed.
It does this by ensuring that evidence informs cancer prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment and supportive care. It is the leading national cancer control agency and therefore also makes recommendations to the Australian Government about cancer policy and priorities.
Cancer Australia covers every stage of breast cancer from awareness to life after treatment, and produces a number of information resources for health professionals and people affected by breast cancer:
- Ensuring an evidence-based approach to cancer care
- Informing patients and the community about breast cancer
- Improving survival through information and education
Australian Breast Cancer Research
Australian Breast Cancer Research focuses on supporting medical research that helps the prevention, detection, management and treatment of breast cancer. Its aim is to reduce the impact that breast cancer has on Australian families.
The research that Australian Breast Cancer Research supports is translational in nature, which means that discoveries made in the labs are converted as quickly as possible into therapies that help people suffering with breast cancer.
For every $1 donated, Australian Breast Research provides over $4 in grants to lifesaving breast cancer research.
We hope this helps you navigate the world of breast cancer support. We would also like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the wonderful organisations out there providing care and support to those affected by breast cancer. Please get in touch with us if you have any questions or need advice about mastectomy bras.