Photo: South West Hospital and Health Service McGrath Breast Care Nurse Lisa Bowman – left –
discusses breast care with Lyndall Hall.

A new wellness program aims to provide Maranoa women undergoing treatment for, or who
have survived, breast cancer with important personal lifestyle strategies.

The program will start on 3 September and be offered weekly over six weeks.

The six sessions will be held from 1.30 pm to 2.30 pm at Lemon Grove Produce, 38 Hawthorne
St, in Roma.

South West Hospital and Health Service McGrath Breast Care Nurse Lisa Bowman said the
program was aimed at breast cancer patients and their partners or carers.

“Our aim is to promote wellness and self-management of breast cancer clients, encourage
patients to have the best quality of life they can and to take positive steps for their health and
well-being,’’ she said.

“Through the program, participants will share and discuss a range of strategies and receive
education from health care professionals that will build positive and healthy outlooks.’’

Ms Bowman said information sessions would be delivered by herself, as well as by
physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians and social workers.

“The subjects covered will be broad, covering all aspects of breast cancer survivorship in
general and will be tailored depending on the needs of the participants,’’ she said.

“Following intensive treatment programs in tertiary centres, many breast cancer clients report
feelings of isolation, abandonment and loss of security.

“This program will provide breast cancer survivors – whether those who have recently
completed active treatment or long-term survivors – and their partners or carers with
appropriate coping skills.”

Ms Bowman said breast cancer was now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.

“Breast cancer develops when cells within the breast begin to grow abnormally and multiply to
form a tumour,’’ she said.

“On average, one in eight Queensland women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and, of
those, 90 per cent will have no family history of the illness.

“And its incidence is increasing – with 1 in 8 Australian women, as well as 1 in 700 Australian
men, expected to be diagnosed in their lifetime.

“But thanks to medical research, breast cancer that is contained within the breast is now largely
treatable.

“Over the past 25 years, five-year breast cancer survival rates have improved from around 76
per cent to 90 per cent.’’

Mrs Bowman said a breast screen was the best way to detect breast cancer early, well before a
woman or her doctor could feel anything.

“The risk of breast cancer increases with age, that’s why we encourage all women over 40 to
have a breast screen ever two years and particularly women between the ages of 50 and 74,’’
she said.

“Early detection could save your life, with 9 out of 10 women surviving thanks to early
detection.’’

• To register for the program, contact Lisa Bowman (McGrath Breast Care Nurse) at
Nuriyn Centre, Roma Hospital, on 4624 2723 or 0429 360 853.

ENDS
For further information contact:
James Guthrie
Principal Media Officer, Rural and Remote Qld
Media and Communication
Department of Health
(07) 3708 5379
Jim.Guthrie@health.qld.gov.au