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Bright new direction for Cabrini - new breast cancer service launched

Date: 21/03/2013

Cabrini, one of Victoria’s largest cancer treatment centres, has launched an innovative new breast cancer service called Brightways based at Cabrini Brighton.

“Brightways is a Cabrini initiative designed to provide our breast cancer patients with high quality, integrated, multidisciplinary cancer care*,” said David Nowell, General Manager of Cabrini Brighton, who spearheaded the service.

“Research indicates that the best cancer care is delivered via a multidisciplinary team approach where health professionals work together to plan treatment and care for individual patients.

“We place our patient at the centre of their care, coordinating all elements of breast cancer treatment around them, with a team of dedicated experts who remain with the patient throughout their treatment.

“The Brightways team includes breast surgeons, diagnostic experts, medical and radiation oncologists, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, specialist breast care nurses, specialist physiotherapists, social workers, psychologists, dieticians and rehabilitation specialists.”

A key point of difference is that under the Brightways model, all of the patient’s breast cancer treatment is coordinated via a dedicated Clinical Nurse Consultant. This position is held by Vicki Durston who has 20 years’ nursing experience and specialises in women’s health. Also, the service has been developed with the input of two former breast cancer patients, who participated in regular advisory group meetings, providing input to processes and patient materials.

Healthcare professionals and community groups have welcomed the new Brightways service, where many patients have been exposed to elements of the service since November 2012. Tracey Tobias, Manager of the Southern Melbourne Integrated Cancer Services, said Brightways is a positive initiative in the private health sector.

"It’s great to see a private health service take the initiative in developing a multidisciplinary, tumour-stream approach to the care of breast cancer patients – it is also pleasing that consumers were involved in its development to ensure the service is truly patient-centred."

View the Brightways website

Media / Photo Opportunities 

Media is welcome to attend the official launch of Brightways on Thursday 21 March 2013

From 6-8 pm at Cabrini Brighton, 243 New Street Brighton, speakers include Mr Peter Gregory (breast surgeon) and Dr Michelle White (medical oncologist). For media interviews or enquiries, contact Anna Kennedy ph (03) 9508 5831 or 0402 089 688.


More information about the Brightways service

Patients may access the Brightways service directly or via a referral from their doctor. For example, if a patient is advised of an abnormal mammogram or ultrasound, the Brightways Breast Cancer Service Coordinator can immediately organise an appointment with a breast surgeon to determine the next steps.

“From the time of a confirmed diagnosis, all elements of the Brightways service are available to our patient – before anything else happens, they will meet the team members who will be with them throughout their treatment including our coordinator and a breast care nurse,” said David Nowell, General Manager of Cabrini Brighton.

“Following these initial discussions into which the patient will have full input with their desires and preferences taken into account, their treatment will be planned by a multidisciplinary healthcare team. If needed, our patient can access support from an expert psychologist, social workers and other healthcare professionals.

“Each episode of the patient’s treatment is monitored by the Brightways Breast Cancer Service Coordinator and each member of the multidisciplinary team will be kept informed of the patient’s progress.”

Patients under the care of the Brightways service have access to a range of support services including: A tailored reconditioning program, designed especially to help breast cancer patients: an eight-week course that includes physical rehabilitation and psychological group support, which covers topics such as sexual health after cancer, body image, relationships and communication and mindfulness meditation The popular Look Good Feel Better program, a free community service program in Australia which helps women manage the appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy Cabrini Wig Room in Bayside, which provides free wigs, headwear and advice for patients experiencing hair loss due to cancer treatment – more than 150 patients have been supported by the service since its introduction in 2012.

*Multidisciplinary cancer care involves a collaborative, prospective team approach to treatment planning and care provision and can be broadly defined as an integrated approach to healthcare in which medical and allied health care professionals consider all relevant treatment options and develop collaboratively an individual treatment plan for each patient.’ (National Breast Cancer Centre, 2005)

About Cabrini

Cabrini is a Catholic, private, not-for-profit health service in Melbourne. Founded in 1948, it is owned by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We have 4056 staff, 190 volunteers, 1200 specialist doctors and 832 inpatient beds. Our services span aged care, cancer care, cardiac services, children’s care, emergency medicine, health promotion, home- and community-based care maternity services, palliative care, rehabilitation, research and education.