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What happens after treatment ends? Recognising and managing fear of recurrence

This webcast was held on Thursday 11 February 2021 and can now be viewed on demand.

About the Webcast

Many people who have been treated for early breast cancer feel anxious and worry that their cancer may one day come back (recur). Fear of cancer recurrence is the term used to describe these worries and anxieties. This webcast will assist in providing you with the techniques and strategies to support reducing such fears.

We will explore the facts around how likely it is that your breast cancer will recur, what you need to look out for (what are the red flags) and how to manage the emotional triggers and challenges.

Facilitator: BCNA MC

Vicki Durston, Director Policy and Advocacy 

Vicki Durston has recently been appointed to BCNA in 2020 as Director Policy and Advocacy. She has spent close to three decades in public and private health care specialising in cancer care, as a nurse leader building effective partnerships, bringing about strategic operational and performance innovation to achieve success. Vicki has been an investigator in many research studies and was pivotal in bringing scalp cooling to one of the largest health care facilities treating breast cancer in Melbourne. Vicki is a sessional lecturer at Monash University and is a member of the executive special practice network for Breast Cancer at CNSA. She is known for her commitment towards continual improvement of the consumer experience and is thrilled to be part of the BCNA team.


Professor Bruce Mann, Breast Surgeon

Bruce trained as a surgeon in Melbourne and then as a breast specialist at Memorial Hospital in New York. He came back to Melbourne in 1998 as a consultant surgeon, and was appointed Director of the Breast Service at Royal Melbourne and Royal Women’s Hospital in 2007, and Director of the Breast Tumour Stream of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre in 2015. He has been active in many organisations, including Cancer Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, and Breast Cancer Trials. His interests relate to systems for optimal breast cancer care and research to tailor the extent of breast cancer treatment to the individual patient.

Dr Charlotte Tottman, Clinical Psychologist

Charlotte is a psycho oncologist; a clinical psychologist specialising in the treatment of cancer-related distress. Charlotte completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Flinders University.Charlotte works with cancer patients and their family members and carers, at all stages of their cancer experience; on diagnosis, during and after treatment, when facing mortality, and afterwards. She consults with both adults and children. Charlotte is an Editor for the Cancer Council of Australia, a sometimes lecturer at the School of Psychology at Flinders University, and works closely with CanTeen, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), Ovarian Cancer Australia and the McGrath Foundation.She regularly presents to cancer forums as an expert in Psycho-Oncology. Charlotte has her own cancer story. Several years after setting up her private practice in psycho oncology, she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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Kathy Bell, Consumer Representative BCNA
Kathy worked for many years in health policy and management, until a diagnosis of early breast cancer in 2015 prompted her to make some life changes.  The year following her diagnosis was dominated by surgery and treatment, but the years since have been happily filled with family and friends, travel, creative pursuits, and a tree change to the Macedon Ranges with her partner… with work taking a back seat.  Kathy is now fixated on her productive garden, and has found that life after cancer can be wonderful.  She has recently completed training to become a BCNA Consumer Representative.


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