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Free webinar about breast reconstruction – “What are the pros and cons?”

October is Pink Ribbon Month, a time to support those affected by breast and gynaecological cancers

On Thursday 26 October 2017, Cancer Council NSW’s free webinar series will present a panel discussion on breast reconstruction options for those who have had, or are considering a mastectomy due to a cancer diagnosis. Local Far North Coast and Northern Rivers residents are invited to register and join the next online webinar for insights and information on this topic. Guest speakers on the webinar panel include Dr Catherine Boorer, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Gill Neil, a breast care nurse, and Yvonne Hughes, a breast cancer survivor who will talk about her personal experience with breast reconstruction. The webinar will cover the latest information and how it impacts people who have completed their active treatment, as well as provide strategies and information regarding breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction is a surgical procedure used to create a permanent breast using the person’s own tissue and skin, and/or an implant. It can be done or started at the time of the mastectomy (immediate reconstruction) or at a later stage (delayed reconstruction). This can be months or years later. Cancer Council NSW’s Abby Wallace from Northern NSW said that it is important to consider the side effects and the length of recovery after breast reconstruction, and to be aware of the limited access to surgical options for those living in regional and rural areas and the potential need to travel to a major city. The emotional and psychological impacts can also be significant. “For many women, breasts symbolise femininity, motherhood and sexual attractiveness. Losing part or all of a breast may affect a woman’s body image or confidence. Before or after a mastectomy, women may think about having a breast reconstruction,” said Ms Wallace. “If you are considering having a breast reconstruction, this webinar will also discuss where you can go to seek advice and treatment.” Throughout the months of October and November, Cancer Council NSW is raising funds for those affected by women’s cancers – you can support by hosting a Girls’ Night In or a Pink Ribbon event. For more information, go to To register for Cancer Council NSW’s September webinar, view previous webinars or to find out about other upcoming Cancer Council NSW webinars, visit: Cancer Council NSW’s webinar will air live on Thursday 26 October between 7pm to 8pm (AEDT). The webinar is open to people of any age who have been affected by cancer, either as a patient, family member, carer or health professional. Participants can log on from any device anywhere around Australia. When registering, and during the live discussion, participants are invited to submit questions, some of which will be discussed during the last 15 minutes of the webinar. A link to the recorded webinar and other supporting resources will also be emailed to all registrants following the live event.

Guest Speakers

Dr Catherine Boorer Dr Catherine Boorer is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Macquarie St, Sydney. One of only a handful of fully qualified female plastic surgeons in Sydney, she specialises in cosmetic surgery for adults and reconstructive surgery for both adults and children. In addition to her private practice she remains committed to the public hospital system with clinical and teaching roles at four major public teaching hospitals in NSW. Dr Boorer studied medicine at the University of Newcastle, NSW and completed her internship and residency at the John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle. She then went on to complete 8 years of surgical training, comprising four years of specialty training in General Surgery and a further four years of specialty training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. After gaining her specialist qualifications as a Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Dr Boorer went on to complete a postgraduate Clinical Fellowship in Paediatric Plastic Surgery at the internationally renowned Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Upon her return from Canada, Dr Boorer was appointed as a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon to the Prince of Wales and Sydney Children’s Hospitals in Randwick. More recently, she was appointed as a Reconstructive Breast Surgeon to the Royal Women’s Hospital, Randwick. She has also maintained her connection with the John Hunter Hospital through her appointment as a visiting Paediatric Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. Dr Boorer is married with three energetic young sons. When away from work she keeps herself happily busy with her family and interests which include travelling, walking, reading and cooking. Gill Neil Gill Neil is a breast care nurse at The Royal Hospital for Women (RHW). She works as part of a multidisciplinary team involved in breast care management and also works closely with the breast and plastic surgeons. She provides assistance before, during and after breast cancer treatment. Gill became a registered nurse in 1995 in Edinburgh, Scotland. She came to Australia in 2002 for travel (and some work) and ended up never going home! After completing postgraduate qualifications at La Trobe University 10 years ago, she started breast care nursing and has been the breast care nurse at the RHW for the last 8 years. She is also involved in the organisation and running of a monthly public breast reconstruction clinic at RHW and the complex management of the public reconstruction theatre lists. Yvonne Hughes Yvonne Hughes is the author of One Piece of Advice: Words to guide you through early breast cancer. One Piece of Advice was written after Yvonne began treatment for breast cancer. She started writing the book to capture the generosity of those who had tips to pass on, and to help others going through treatment. Six years later, Yvonne is still passionate about helping others through the journey. Yvonne has written articles about breast cancer and survivorship for several Australian publications, and continues to be involved with Cancer Council NSW.