PYNKS Coffee and Chat at Zamia Cafe

PYNKS is free and open to anyone living with metastatic breast cancer. We also welcome family, children, friends, loved ones and carers to some of our events.

Our regular event is a coffee and chat morning at the at Zamia Cafe in Kings Park on the second Tuesday of every month from 10am until 11.30am. BCRC-WA staff will be in attendance and all welcome.

Celebrating One Year of the Perth Breast Cancer Institute

This August marks one year since Breast Cancer Research Centre-WA expanded our services to include the Perth Breast Cancer Institute (PBCI).

PBCI, the clinical arm of Breast Cancer Research Centre, merges an impressive team of experienced specialists and other healthcare professionals working collectively to ensure the best outcomes for our patients.

The PBCI brings together specialist breast surgeons, medical oncologists, and a team of breast physicians. In addition, PBCI includes two clinical psychologists, a genetic counsellor, a breast medical oncology fellow and two specialised breast care nurses.

With Perth Radiological Clinic and GenesisCare also located at the Hollywood Consulting Centre, our new location provides a centre of excellence for breast cancer services in WA.

Our team of world-class specialists include:

  • Professor Arlene Chan Medical Oncologist
  • Dr Peter Willsher Specialist Breast Surgeon
  • Dr Hilary Martin Medical Oncologist
  • Dr Jose Cid Fernandez Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon
  • Mr Richard Martin Specialist Oncoplastic Breast, Endocrine and General Surgeon
  • Dr Bindu Kunjuraman Oncoplastic Breast and General Surgeon
  • Dr Farah Abdul Aziz Oncoplastic Breast and General Surgeon
  • Dr Kallyani Ponniah Oncoplastic Breast and General Surgeon
  • Mr Palan Thirunavukkarasu Oncoplastic Breast and General Surgeon

Breast Clinic
The Breast Clinic is the newest addition to our services. Working with Perth Radiological Clinic, the clinic allows for rapid assessment and review of urgent cases. Our two highly experience breast physicians, Dr Pamela Thompson and Dr Susie Kitchin, also treat benign breast concerns and provide ongoing surveillance for people at high risk of breast cancer.

Genetic Counselling
Associate Genetic Counsellor Bhavya Vora brings a wealth of expertise to our suite of services. If a genetic fault is suspected to be involved in a person with breast cancer, an in-depth discussion of family history and breast cancer risks can provide direction on whether further testing may be helpful and what further steps, if any, are appropriate for that individual.

Clinical Phycology
BCRC-WA also offer a bulk-billed clinical psychology service to support patients of PBCI and their families. Our clinical psychologists collaborate with the patient’s care team to assist patients in managing the impact of breast cancer. Mary Scott and Francoise Ballantyne, both very experienced psychologists, specialise in the impact of early and advanced breast cancer on all aspects of the person and their families.

Breast Care Nurses
Our focus is on holistic care for patients and their families throughout their experience with breast cancer. We are very proud to be able to offer each patient the opportunity to be paired with a breast care nurse, to provide ongoing information, support and to assist patients in navigating their journey with us. Cath Griffiths is our Early Breast Cancer Nurse and Amanda Goddard is our Advanced Breast Cancer Nurse. Both provide a consistent and caring point of contact between the patient and the rest of the breast care team.

What’s next for BCRC-WA?

We continue to select and design research projects which will further increase global knowledge of breast cancer and improve outcomes for people with breast cancer worldwide. We are also passionate about education. The PBCI team have already begun writing a library of patient information pamphlets with five published so far. The pamphlets are available in our rooms and online.

We believe that sharing our knowledge and expertise in breast cancer treatments with other healthcare professionals, patients and families will result in all Western Australians being offered evidence-based, gold-standard care wherever they are treated. To this end, we are planning two major educational events with a GP Education Forum on Breast Diseases and an update on metastatic breast cancer for the breast cancer oncology community both coming up in October.

It has been an exciting and significant year for BCRC-WA and we look forward to providing excellent care to Western Australians and their families throughout the coming years.

Lets talk about….Breast Cysts

Breast cysts are fluid-filled sacs inside the breast. They are usually benign (non-cancerous). They can be single or multiple and be present in one or both breasts. Some large cysts are palpable and feel firm to touch. Most cysts are small and only found on imaging. Breast cysts are commonly seen in women before menopause. Although less common after menopause, they can occur at any age and are sometimes seen in women taking hormone replacement therapy.

On examination, breast cysts are rounded with smooth edges. They sometimes feel like a small, tense balloon. Breast pain or tenderness over the lump or surrounding area can occur. Breasts cysts commonly undergo changes in size before and after the menstrual cycle. We don’t exactly know what causes breasts cysts but think they result from hormonal changes during monthly menstruation. The breasts are made up of glandular tissue that produces milk and a supportive framework consisting of fatty tissue and fibrous connective tissue. Breast cysts occur as a result of fluid accumulating within this glandular tissue.

Your doctor should check a new lump that persists or gets bigger. Rarely, breast cysts may develop an infection resulting in associated skin changes such as redness or increase warmth. These changes should be checked immediately. Diagnosis of breast cysts involves a clinical breast examination and ultrasound or mammogram. Occasionally, a sample of fluid from the cyst is required and is taken from the cyst through a needle; this is called Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA). On a mammogram, cysts appear as smooth rounded lumps. Further review with ultrasound can then differentiate these lumps into either fluid-filled simple cysts or solid lumps. Some cysts are partly fluid-filled and partly solid; these are called complex cysts. A complex cyst may require a further biopsy.

Simple breast cysts don’t require treatment, but large cysts may cause discomfort or pain. A simple outpatient drainage procedure often relieves these symptoms. A breast cyst can re-fill after it has been drained. Recurring cysts are not dangerous and are treated the same way. It is important to remember that there is no evidence that breasts cysts result in cancer. However, any breastrelated symptom or concerning finding on imaging will be investigated to rule out cancer.

For more information on breast cysts or other benign breast conditions visit our Resources page.

PYNKS Topic and Chat – When Difficult Feelings Get in the Way of What Matters

14 September 2021 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

PYNKS members are invited to join our topic and chat on  ‘When Difficult Feelings Get in the Way of What Matters’.  

Our Clinical Psychologist, Mary Scott, will outline a psychological model of responding to unwanted emotions and invite you to share what you’ve found helpful along the way.

10:00-11:00/30 BCRC-WA Boardroom. RSVP to Jess on