Private hospitals are pretty in pink

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The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital have been painting their town pink to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The hospital’s Cindy McKenzie Breast Cancer Program launched their PinkUp for PINKTOBER campaign at the start of the month with support of a number of community attractions.

Aussie World kicked it off at the start of the month by lighting up pink, while the hospital has turned pink every night in October.

The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital General Manager Wallis Westbrook said the support of Aussie World showed how important the issue is to the community.

“We were thrilled to launch our 2016 PINKTOBER campaign at Aussie World – its central location here on the Sunshine Coast is representative of how the program’s mission is to help families from across our region who are affected by breast cancer,” said Mr Westbrook.

The Cindy McKenzie Breast Cancer Program was established in 2007 in honour of Cindy McKenzie a 39 year old mum who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006. Her family set up a foundation which has gone on to support 350 women living with breast cancer.

The Foundation’s Board approached the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital in 2014 and proposed to work together to develop an expanded program of services, after the hospital announced its new Breast Clinic.

Now the program includes family assistance, clinical services and education and a ‘Memory Maker’ initiative to help create positive and long lasting memories for families during a difficult time.

Mr Westbrook encouraged the Sunshine Coast community to get behind the program and the month.

“There are many ways you can show your support of the program and recognise people you know that have been affected by breast cancer – whether it’s wearing pink accessories, decorating your front door with a pink ribbon, or turning your workplace into a pink palace,” said Mr Westbrook.

The statistics show breast cancer awareness is vital for all Australians – this year 16,084 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Australia 15,934 females and 150 males according to the National Institute of Health and Welfare (NIHW).

Private hospitals often accompany families on a breast cancer journey – they provided surgeries for more than 11,000 patients with breast cancer in 2014-15 according to the NIHW.

The month coincided with Minister for Health and Aged Care, Sussan Ley’s announcement, of subsidised access to preventative breast cancer medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The medicine tamoxifen (Nolvadex-D) reduces the risk for people with a moderate to high risk of developing breast cancer by 30-40 per cent over their lifetime. Previously only those diagnosed with breast cancer could access the subsidised medication.

“This is a significant listing for patients at risk of developing breast cancer. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment to preventing illness by funding new and innovative medicines as a priority,” Ms Ley said at the announcement.

Pink Ribbon Day is held on Monday 24 October.

Cindy McKenzie Breast Cancer Program at The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital.

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