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Managing the cost of breast cancer webcast: tips and resources

This webcast was held on Thursday 16 September 2021 and can now be viewed on demand.

About the Webcast

For many people with breast cancer, the financial costs associated with treatment and care can be substantial. General day-to-day expenses continue, while you may also have to pay for specialist appointments, tests and scans, medicines and other treatments, counselling, travel and so on.

If you're unable to continue in paid work, the loss of income can also contribute to financial pressure on you and your family. Even when treatment is finished, you may still struggle financially, or you may face the longer-term impacts of ongoing care.

For some people, getting by financially is no easy task, even at the best of times. Money worries can have a big impact on how you and your family cope. Informed financial consent requires people to have information about costs and support to make informed decisions about their care. 

We will hear from Financial Counsellor at Cancer Council Victoria, Antony Mitchell who has a community focus and experience with working with a number of not for profits, and BCNA Consumer Representative Jodie Lydeker who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer 3 years ago, and detected again in 2021. Jodie will share insight into her lived experience of the financial stress associated with the disease.

In this webcast we will explore managing the costs of breast cancer including informed financial consent, public vs private healthcare, hidden and common out-of-pocket costs, questions to ask your healthcare provider, financial wellbeing, career impacts, issues for those who live in rural and remote areas and the resources and support available to you.


Kirsten Pillati, CEO Breast Cancer Network Australia

Kirsten Pilatti was appointed CEO in March 2018.  She has an exceptional understanding of the cancer sector having spent over a decade at BCNA and five years at Cancer Council Victoria where she was responsible for delivering communications and campaigns around prevention messages.

Kirsten has held a variety of roles at BCNA including:

  • Director of Programs and Services
  • General Manager, Strategic Projects – State of the Nation
  • Partnerships Manager
  • National Marketing and Communications Manager.

Highly regarded for her passion and focus on Australian women and men who have been affected by breast cancer, she is committed to giving everyone a voice and reducing the disparity of care across the country.  Kirsten firmly believes that members are at the heart of what we do at BCNA and is dedicated to delivering services and supports that ensure women, men, families, colleagues and friends affected by breast cancer have a place to turn to for information, connection and support.Her deep connection to our 150,000 members was recently cemented after spending 18 months travelling around Australia interviewing more than 3,500 women and men about their experience of breast cancer treatment and services to find out where the gaps in service delivery are occurring. The findings were outlined in the State of the Nation report, which was delivered to Federal Parliament in June 2018.She is also proud of the work she has done to turn the spotlight on important issues such as access to breast reconstruction for women in Cairns and driving changes to the Australian healthcare system including access to drugs through the PBS such as the CDK inhibitors for Australians with metastatic breast cancer.Taking up the role in BCNA’s 20th anniversary year was not lost on Kirsten who is committed to working closely with members, staff and partners such as Bakers Delight, Berlei, Sussan, Red Energy, Focus On Furniture and Australian Paper to ensure that we can continue to ensure that Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very support and care appropriate to their individual needs.

Born and raised in Western Australia, she lives in Melbourne with her partner and two sons.

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Antony Mitchell, Financial Councellor Cancer Council Victoria

From a long career in finance, in particular banking and financial markets and in public service including Treasury and Reserve Bank, Antony embarked on a career with a greater focus on community several years ago and has worked with a number of not for profits as a financial counsellor ever since.  He is currently a financial counsellor with Cancer Council Victoria.  

Jodie Lydeker, BCNA Consumer

Jodie is a lawyer by training and has spent over 20 years in the public sector leading state-wide legal and social policy reforms and independent reviews across the areas of criminal justice, human services, mental health and anti-corruption.

But a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer 3 years ago at the age of 40, and detected again in 2021, has created a new pathway into public health. Jodie is currently working as an executive in the Victorian health department, including supporting the COVID-19 response division. Outside of work, Jodie is a proud consumer representative with BCNA, having graduated the Seat At The Table program in December 2020, and has keen interests in psychosocial oncology, service navigation and integrative cancer care models. 

Jodie has tertiary qualifications in law and business, and implementation science. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and holds professional certifications in change management and program management.