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.

GP Breast Diseases Education Forum 2021 

On Saturday 2nd October, we held our inaugural Perth Breast Cancer Institute (PBCI) GP Education Forum at the Pan Pacific Perth. As approved education providers with the RACGP, the event attracted CPD points for RACGP members. 

The program was aimed specifically at GPs as a vital part of the clinical team in the care of patients with breast cancer and other breast issues. 

The speakers were members of PBCI including our medical oncologists, oncoplastic breast surgeons, genetic counsellor, and breast physician as well as Dr Jo Lazberger from Perth Radiological Clinic who spoke about the role of MRI in the ongoing surveillance of women with dense breasts.  

The feedback was uniformly positive with many GPs commenting that the emphasis on multidisciplinary care and protocols for following up benign breast conditions would translate into their daily practice. 

During the presentations, attendees were able to send questions via text message. Here are some of the questions and the responses from the speakers: 

  1. Should we be avoiding MHT in pts with no hx breast ca but hx of papilloma/multiple fibroadenoma?
    (answered by Mr Richard Martin: Yes we should be cautious in giving HRT to women with a diagnosis Papillomas, Papillomatosis etc as they are at higher ri

    Our PBCI team at the GP Breast Diseases Educational Forum. (L to R) Mr Bhavya Vora – Associate Genetic Counsellor, Dr Kallyani Ponniah – Oncoplastic Breast and General Surgeon, Dr Jose Cid Fernandez – Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, Dr Joanne Lazberger – Managing partner Perth Radiological Clinic, Dr Farah Abdulaziz – Oncoplastic Breast and General Surgeon, Professor Arlene Chan – Medical Oncologist, Dr Richard Martin – Specialist Oncoplastic Breast, Endocrine and General Surgeon, Dr Hilary Martin – Medical Oncologist, Dr Pamela Thompson – Breast Physician.

    sk of developing Breast cancer and HRT is known  stimulant to breast tissue proliferation particularly Papillomas.)

  2.  Is there a lot of lymphoedema after SLNB?
    (answered by Dr Farah Abdul Aziz: The risk of lymphoedema is 2-5% after sentinel node biopsy, it’s a lifetime risk and patients need to be educated regarding prevention and seeking early management)
  3. Where is fat usually harvested from for grafts?
    (answered by Dr Kallyani Ponniah: Fat is usually harvested from the lateral thigh and anterior abdominal wall. It can also be harvested from the flanks and from the back.)
  4. Is there a place for mirena + topical oestrogen for menopausal symptoms?
    (answered by Dr Hilary Martin: The safety of this option has not been absolutely established in the breast cancer survivor population.  For patients on tamoxifen circulating oestrogen is blocked and so the effect of any topical oestrogen absorption should be counteracted by this but for those on aromatase inhibitors the mechanism of action differs and so there is still a theoretical risk from circulating oestrogen from the topical oestrogen.  Mirena also is generally not recommended for this population.  At an individual level it may be that the patient does decide to go with these options balancing risk against quality of life.)
  5.   Premenopausal ladies with menorrhagia/fibroids and wanting contraception Mirena safety?
    (answered by Dr Hilary Martin: We recommend removal of Mirena’s for patients with a history of hormone receptor positive breast cancer and avoidance therefore of future Mirena due to the systemic progesterone absorption.  Non-hormonal contraception is recommended.  Goserelin may be a suitable option for such patients with ovarian suppression, along with additional non-hormonal contraception.  Or potentially for those not planning any future pregnancy hysterectomy could be considered.  At an individual patient level there may be some who opt to continue to use Mirena weighing quality of life against their risk but would recommend avoiding this option if possible) 

The presentations were recorded and will be available to view by registered healthcare professionals soon. 

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.

TUNE IN TO WIN Our State on a Plate 12 September at  5:30pm on Channel 9. 

Tune in to watch Our State on a Plate this Sunday, 12 September at  5:30pm on Channel 9.

This is BCRC-WA’s signature event, State on a Plate, which is held at the Pan Pacific Hotels and Resorts with Consulting Executive Chef, Alejandro Saravia is in the kitchen with Channel 9 weather presenter, Sherri-Lee Biggs cooking a Pardoo Wagyu Carpaccio.

During the episode –  find out how you could win a $10,000 travel voucher whilst raising money for the Breast Cancer Research Centre-WA. Competition ends 19 September 2021, Midnight.