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The psychological impact of a diagnosis of early breast cancer

Free online webcast

Event date and time: 

Held on Wednesday 17 June 2020 | 7.00 – 7.45 pm (AEST) 

Local times: 

WA: 5.00 – 5.45 pm 

NT, SA: 6.30 – 7.15 pm 

Qld, ACT, NSW, Tas, Vic: 7.00 – 7.45 pm 

About the Webcast

A diagnosis of early breast cancer can be devastating and can trigger several adverse reactions and responses. Many experience a range of emotions including stress, sadness, fear and anger. It can also bring various challenges, including:
  • Coming to terms with the diagnosis
  • How breast cancer and treatment affects body image
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Wondering ‘why me’
  • Dealing with uncertainty and imagining the worst
  • Dealing with practicalities such as family work and financial adjustments
  • Dealing with the responses of your partner, children, family, and friends to your diagnosis.
  • Where to find support
In this webcast Dr Charlotte Tottman, Clinical psychologist will delve deeper into understanding the challenges faced, and the strategies to help support those affected by a diagnosis of early breast cancer. We will also hear from Jodie, who will talk about her own early breast cancer experience and strategies that have helped her during this time.


Kirsten Pilatti, CEO BCNA

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


Charlotte Tottman, Clinical Psychologist

Dr Charlotte Tottman 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.

Jodie Lydeker, consumer

At 40, Jodie Lydeker was diagnosed with early breast cancer not long after moving interstate, starting a new job and contemplating options for motherhood. Despite nearly 12 months of treatment, Jodie’s greatest challenges were overcoming grief and loss following breakdowns of relationships and an unrecognisable self-reflection. Two years on, Jodie’s ‘emotional hangover’ has inspired a new career path, a new perspective, and a new appreciation for life. 

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