Specialist breast care nurses funding secured in Queensland

Vital physical and emotional support for Queenslanders with breast cancer will continue as $2.4 million in funding for seven specialist McGrath Breast Care Nurses is secured thanks to the Palaszczuk Government.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles today announced the funding of $830,164 a year for three years that will support seven of the McGrath Foundation’s 22 specialist nurses working across the state.

“Breast cancer is estimated to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, affecting 1 in 7 women, and as incidences increase so too does the need for these specialist nurses,” Deputy Premier Miles said.

“McGrath Breast Care Nurses do a fantastic job providing support and care to patients through every stage of their breast cancer treatment.

“I’m pleased to be able to support the McGrath Foundation with this funding, which will ultimately help Queenslanders and their families in what is undoubtedly a very tough time.”

McGrath Foundation CEO Holly Masters said the funding would ensure continued support for Queensland breast cancer patients throughout these challenging times.

“We are hugely grateful to the Queensland Government for their support which ensures that despite the rapidly changing environment, Queensland breast cancer patients and their families can continue to access the free care and vital support that a McGrath Breast Care Nurse provides,” Ms Masters said.

Melissa Gosper, a McGrath Breast Care Nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital for more than three years, said more than 1800 people with breast cancer in the local area had been supported since 2009.

“Once a patient hears the word ‘cancer’, they often don’t hear or can’t process what happens next. I’m there to help my patients comprehend the medical jargon and make decisions about their treatment,” Ms Gosper said.

“Working to empower my patients so that they can face the many challenges a breast cancer diagnosis can bring is the reason I find my job so rewarding.”

Breast cancer patient Lisa Cook, also a registered nurse, said even with her medical background, her diagnosis was still hard to process.

“I’ve had to make a lot of decisions about my treatment and Melissa has been there at every step of the way, from answering questions, to allowing me to have moments to think, cry and breakdown…sometimes even just having her hold my hand has helped,” she said.

The seven McGrath Breast Care Nurses are located in South Brisbane, Buderim, Bundaberg, Gatton, Gayndah, Ipswich and Nambour.

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