Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) welcomes the Labor Party’s announcement today that if elected it will increase the number of specialised metastatic cancer nurses across Australia.
BCNA CEO Kirsten Pilatti said the announcement by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in Launceston acknowledges the critical need for increased support for Australians who are diagnosed with incurable cancer.
“We are delighted that an additional 24 metastatic cancer nurses will be placed in hospitals throughout Australia which will help extend support beyond specialist cancer centres and support those living in regional and rural parts of the country,” Kirsten said. “These nurses will support people with all types of metastatic cancer, not just breast cancer. BCNA believes it is important that anyone with terminal cancer can be supported by a specialist nurse.”
BCNA has been advocating for increased support for Australians with metastatic disease for many years.
“OurState of the Nationreport (2018) highlighted that while people with metastatic disease often report that while they have a more serious diagnosis, with an uncertain future, they receive less support than those diagnosed with early breast cancer.
“We want to make sure that all Australians who are dealing with this difficult diagnosis get the support they need to navigate our complex health system and manage the challenges of living with a terminal illness.”
As part of the announcement, BCNA will receive funding to deliver a professional telephone counselling service, staffed by trained oncology counsellors. This service will enable BCNA to provide ongoing support to women and men diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and their family members.