A new trial is providing women with advanced breast cancer access to a free, online coping program in the privacy of their own homes.
The ‘Finding My Way – Advanced’ project offers information, activities, suggestions and support for women who have recently been diagnosed with advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
Lead researcher, Dr Lisa Beatty from Flinders University, says the program has been specifically tailored for this group of women.
“When patients find out that their cancer has metastasised or spread, often they feel overwhelmed. We found that many women with metastatic breast cancer felt it was difficult to learn about, find and access information that is important and relevant, which is why we developed this resource.
“Our hope is that this program will be able to meet the needs of many women with respect to helping them navigate the emotional, social and physical challenges their metastatic breast cancer may present,” Dr Beatty says.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australian women. Over 19,300 women are diagnosed every year—of those women, over 3,000 will lose their life.
The new program comprises six modules covering:
- communicating with a patient’s medical team
- navigating fear of progression and living with uncertainty
- coping with physical symptoms and side effects
- emotional distress
- identity concerns
- social support issues
It also includes videos from both practitioners and women living with metastatic breast cancer.
Dr Beatty hopes the program’s online delivery will see more women around the world able to access support in the privacy of their own home.
“I think the scope and need for providing online resources to those who may be physically too unwell, or limited, to attend face-to-face therapy is huge. We live in an economic climate where the pressure on existing health system resources is so high that we have to think outside the square, otherwise we do a disservice to those who need it most,” she says.
Finding My Way – Advanced was funded through a Cancer Council Beat Cancer Project Grant in collaboration with Flinders University, with key stakeholder support from Breast Cancer Network Australia.
View the Cancer Council SA’s media release