Women say no to additional breast cancer treatment if they live too far away, research shows

New joint research has found that the distance to cancer services may be influencing the treatment intentions of regional Queensland women diagnosed with breast cancer.

A a study by QUT, Cancer Council and BreastScreen Queensland found that where a woman lives impacts on the intention to use additional radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormonal therapy as part of their breast cancer treatment.

The research examined the data of 6357 women diagnosed with screen-detected invasive breast cancers in Queensland between 1997 and 2008.

QUT PhD researcher Jeff Ching-Fu Hsieh said the research found women living closer to a radiation treatment facility were more likely to agree to be scheduled to use adjuvant therapy to treat breast cancer. (Adjuvant therapy is additional treatment commonly given before or after breast cancer surgery, to improve disease-specific symptoms and overall survival.)

Mr Hsieh said the study was the first of its kind, examining how geography impacted the intention to use adjuvant therapy after a diagnosis of breast cancer and illustrated the important role spatial mathematics can have in the health and other sectors.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the research found the intention to use adjuvant therapy varied significantly depending on where a woman lived in Queensland.

“The study found women living more than four hours from a radiation facility were over two times less likely to be scheduled for adjuvant radiotherapy than those living within one hour of the closest facility,” Ms Clift said.

“Our findings suggest women and/or their treating clinicians may be making decisions regarding the treatment strategy based on perceived barriers to treatment, not simply an inability of women to take up their intended option.

“More research is needed to understand whether this reflects the decision making of the women themselves, or the recommendations made by their referring doctor.

“The research also suggests there are other unmeasured geographical barriers influencing treatment choices for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

“There is a great need to identify these additional barriers, and how they are impacting on Queensland women and the treatment intentions.

“Long-term investigations into geographic differentials are vitally important to cancer control in Queensland, helping us to identify inequalities and develop services and programs to ensure survival outcomes are improved.”

Around 400 Gold Coast women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and about 65 die from the disease.


Eat your way to a better figure without exercise!

Bond University is looking for Gold Coast women who want to eat their way to a better figure.

In return for taking part in a new research program, you’ll get all your meals provided free for 30 weeks, and be linked up with a support group.

Dr Hayley O’Neill says in this study, there’s no pounding the streets or hitting the gym.

“We actually don’t want them exercising, because we want to design new strategies for people to lose weight,” she said.

“We provide all meals throughout the 22 to 30 weeks and we do a number of measures to assess their health and ensure they’re losing weight.”

Play the extended interview here:

Dr. O’Neill says the three key causes of weight loss are doing the wrong kind of exercise, having a poor diet, and stress.

“The New Year is a time when people are often motivated to make changes in their lives, but often it’s difficult to stay on track and motivated,” she said.

Get in touch with Bond University on 5595 1111 for more information.

Top 10 fattest professions in Australia

Work in one of these industries? Chances are your more likely to be overweight, according to a new report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics commissioned by Jenny Craig.

Research found men with jobs in mining, transport and even real estate are fatter than those who worked in accommodation or food services.

Meanwhile women in transport, postal and warehousing had larger waistlines than females who work in professional, scientific and technical services.

So how does your industry stack up against the others?

Here are the top 10 sectors with The Most Overweight Or Obese Employees:

1. Mining 78.2%

2. Transport, postal and warehousing 74.8%

3. Wholesale trade 69.7%

4. Agriculture, forestry and fishing 69.3%

5. Public administration and safety 68.4%

6. Manufacturing 67.3%

7. Financial and insurance services 65.2%

8. Construction 64.5%

9. Electricity, gas, water and waste services 64.3%

10. Rental, hiring and real estate services 63.7%

Michelle Bridges reveals her post-pregnancy workout regime

Michelle Bridges may have only given birth to son Axel 3 weeks ago, but the new mum has already begun getting her body back into tip top shape.

On Instagram today, the 45-year-old shared a breakdown of her routine after being asked by a number of mums.

#MBactive only available @bigwaustralia

A photo posted by Michelle Bridges (@mishbridges) on

Although the Biggest Loser trainer is a fan of weight training, the 45-year-old is sticking to cardio in her post-pregnancy regime alternating between jogging and walking.

She advised that new mums should only attempt a 15-20 minute though, as the one she posted was suitable to someone with herr 30 year personal training experience.

Melanoma most common cancer in young Queenslanders

Cancer Council has issued an urgent warning for Queenslanders under 35, with the latest figures showing melanoma is the most common cancer diagnosed in young Queenslanders.

Recent statistics from the Queensland Cancer Registry show around 110 melanomas are diagnosed in males aged under 35 each year, followed by 80 cases of testicular cancer.

Around 140 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed in Queensland females under age 35, with thyroid the second most common cancer diagnosed, affecting more than 60 females each year.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the figures reinforced an urgent warning for young Queenslanders to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

“Melanoma remains within the top four most commonly diagnosed cancers for all Queenslanders at all stages of life,” Ms Clift said.

“It is concerning to see so many cases diagnosed in those under 35 – a diagnosis of melanoma at such a young age can be particularly distressing.

“Sun exposure in childhood influences the risk of skin cancer later in life – it’s vital for parents to protect young children from harmful UV rays as much as possible.

“Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when out and about this summer to best reduce your risk of skin cancer.”

Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Around 3000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed across the state each year.

Cancer Council is urging young Queenslanders to get to know their skin, and book in for a GP visit if they notice anything change.

“Get to know your own skin and conduct regular self-checks. If you notice a new spot or lesion, or a spot or lesion change in shape, colour or size – visit your GP immediately,” Ms Clift said.

Some changes to look for in the skin include new moles, moles that increases in size, an outline of a mole that becomes notched, moles that itch or tingle or spots that look different from the others.”

Sun protection is required when the UV Index is 3 and above. In Queensland, the UV Index is 3 and above all year round, so Cancer Council Queensland sun protection is required through every season.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.