Aims and Objectives of the Association
The constitution of the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland Inc espouses the following aims and objectives:
- to provide care and support services directly for persons suffering from Breast Cancer or Prostate Cancer
- to improve care and treatment services provided for persons suffering from Breast Cancer or Prostate Cancer
- to provide counselling and support services for the families suffering from Breast Cancer or Prostate Cancer
- to collect and raise funds etc. for the promotion of the objects of the association
- to educate the rural community in the causes and prevention of Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
- to encourage and promote research into the causes, treatment, prevention and cure of Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
New Research Project
Pammie Ellem will be studying how breast care nurses deliver services in a rural and regional setting. The aim of this research project is to identify standards for breast care nurses and establish information and network links for Breast Care nurses. The project is anticipated to be funded for three years at a cost of $25,000 per year.
Funding of research
Over the last five years the BCAQ has provided $95,000 funding for a research grant for annual employment of a Breast Care Nurse for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - Randomised Control Trial between Sentinel Node Biopsy and Axillary Clearance research, as lead by Dr Neil Wetzig at the Wesley Institute of Research. The aim of this research was for the surgical management of breast cancer patients.
Dr Geoff Beadle - $5,000 was invested in Dr Beadle's research: "Life after Breast Cancer" as study into what are the long term effects of treatment for breast cancer patients 10 years + post diagnosis. Dr Beadle is looking at how treatments effect the health of patients long term.
Previous Research Funded
A Prospective Psycho-Immunological Study of Women from High-risk Breast Cancer Families
In recent times, there has been considerable interest in the possible relationship between psychological factors and the immune system and its relationship to breast cancer.
In January 1999, the Breast Cancer Association of Queensland awarded a research grant to Professor Ian Hickie and Dr Georgia Chenevix-Trench to study this possible relationship. The grant was awarded for a period of two years with a possible extension of a further year. In late 2000, after the release of initial findings, it was agreed to extend the grant for a further year.
The aims of the study are to:
- Determine whether associations exist between psychological status (depression and anxiety) and immune function in women at high familial risk of developing breast cancer and to determine the significance of these factors in predicting the onset of breast cancer in these women.
- To determine in the long term whether psychological or immunological factors are associated with the incidence, morbidity or mortality from breast cancer in women with breast cancer.
Results to date:
- 145 women from 47 families, in four states, have participated in the study.
- Of these women, 26% have been diagnosed or treated with breast cancer while the remainder, 74% are at high risk of developing cancer, because of family history.
- Women who did not respond to the measure of cell-mediated immunity (delayed hypersensitivity skin test responses) reported significantly more anxiety symptoms than women who developed positive responses.
- Women with breast cancer have fewer anxiety symptoms than women who do not have breast cancer (but who are at “high-risk” because of their family history).
- These results show preliminary data from a prospective study which is continuing.
- Almost 25% of women at “high risk” of developing breast cancer report a high level of anxiety symptoms. By contrast only 5% of women previously diagnosed with breast cancer report anxiety.
- Higher levels of anxiety are associated with energy (non-response to cell-mediated immune tests) in “at-risk” women.
- Overall the level of depression reported is low and similar in women with and without breast cancer.
- The study is being conducted in collaboration with KconFaB and familial cancer clinics throughout Australia. We are grateful for the assistance of the clinical research nurses in these clinics.
- The research could not be undertaken without the willingness and enthusiasm of the women who participate.
Funding of the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland’s Activities
The Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland Inc is a voluntary association supported by community donations and the Association’s fundraising activities. The association does not receive any state or federal government financial support.
A highly motivated and enthusiastic fundraising sub-committee organizes the following events to fund the association’s projects:
- Annual Esk Family Picnic Races usually held in May each year
- Annual “Take-a-Break” Morning Tea, usually in September and October
- Annual Christmas Luncheon usually held in November at "Hillstone" at St Lucia Golf Club
- Special Lunches & Dinners ie: Albion Park Harness Racing Night and Gold Coast Luncheon
- Art Exhibitions
- Cocktail Parties
Further fundraising functions are held by Corporations and groups in support of the association, these functions include:
- Annual Golf Day
- Wine Tastings
- Cocktail Parties
- Cultural Functions
Future Direction of the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland
It is the intention of the Board of the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland to continue to fund current projects, which assist rural Queenslanders suffering from Breast Cancer or Prostate Cancer.
The association is currently evaluating:
- Rural and regional centres for the training and placement of further Breast Care Nurses and Prostate Care Nurses
- Further research projects
- New rural and regional initiatives