Patient support programs

Find the support you need

Being diagnosed with breast cancer always comes as a shock. 

You may feel that your life has spun out of your control; you may experience feelings of confusion and maybe even anger. 

In a word, it’s overwhelming. 

But you don’t have to face the challenges of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment alone. We’re here to help you. 

Through Mater Chicks in Pink you can gain access to tangible support items, such as hospital care packs, mastectomy bras and wigs, and much needed emotional support when you need it. 

Connecting face-to-face with others who are going through, or have gone through, a similar experience can be very beneficial, which is why Mater Chicks in Pink funds a number of support programs and information sessions for women with breast cancer. 

These free support programs have been designed to enhance the lives of women with breast cancer and include lifestyle enhancement sessions, exercise programs, a unique yoga and meditation series and support groups designed for women and their families. ‚Äč

After my mastectomy surgery, the Mater Chicks in Pink team had already been to my room and left me things I didn't even know I would need. There were two soft pink pillows (two because I had a double mastectomy), a writing set to help remember the huge amount of information that I was given, some socks and information pamphlets as well.

Leanne, diagnosed with breast cancer at 45.

Some of the support services and programs currently on offer at Mater include:

 

Mothers’ Group

After a breast cancer diagnosis, many women suffer feelings of sadness, worry and even isolation and often don’t want to share these concerns with their family and friends. The support groups funded through Mater Chicks in Pink give women a chance to meet on a regular basis, share common issues and support one another through their experience with breast cancer. Find out more information.

 

Healthy Women Exercise Program

Exercise and keeping active are essential for healthy living and Active Rehabilitation have partnered with Mater Chicks in Pink to provide breast cancer patients with a comprehensive exercise program tailored to each woman. 

Designed by physiotherapists, this program helps reduce pain and scarring post-surgery, improve mobility and prevent complications such as lymphoedema and a stiff shoulder. It can also help reduce side effects such as fatigue, weight gain and osteoporosis as well as help boost mental wellbeing by reducing anxiety, stress, depression and improving your overall mood. Find out more information.

 

Yoga, Meditation and More

A breast cancer diagnosis can be one of the most traumatic experiences of a woman’s life, affecting all aspects of her health on a physical, mental, spiritual and emotional level. Complementary therapies such as meditation and yoga are a great way to manage anxiety and stress throughout the treatment process and can also lead to improved arm mobility and strength and greater flexibility following surgery. Find out more information.

 

Creative Express art therapy

Relax, laugh and enjoy yourself through colour, texture and design by joining the Creative Express art therapy group at Mater Private Hospital Redland. 

More than just a pleasant way to pass the time, art therapy is a proven complementary therapy for cancer patients. Relief from stress and anxiety is among the reported benefits, as is bonding with other women in the same situation. 

“I’m fairly artistic by nature—I used to be a primary school teacher. Our art therapy sessions are my way of coping. When you’re worried about results, it’s nice to have a pleasant distraction” - Lynne. 

Find out more information.

 

Reducing cancer risk through nutrition, exercise and sunshine

For years, there has been a perception that diet and exercise are helpful in terms of improving quality of life for breast cancer patients and studies are now showing they can also improve survival rates and lower the risk of recurrence. 

Surgical oncologist and author, Dr David Wilkinson’s friendly, inspiring style is highly informative and helpful, offering practical everyday advice on how to manage your overall health and wellbeing, starting with the foods you eat. Partners are welcome to attend this session. 

Find out more information.

 

Nutrition for thriving after breast cancer

Fuelling your body with the nutrients it needs is important for everyone, but if you’re currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer or have been treated for breast cancer in the past, eating well is particularly important for you. 

Following treatment for breast cancer, you may find you've gained or lost weight, no longer like the foods you once did, or you may simply want to know how diet can play a role in your recovery. 

In this session, nutritionist Janet Schloss will share research on the impact of different food groups on breast cancer risk and reoccurrence as well as how implementing a nutritious diet can benefit your health and wellbeing. 

By choosing the right foods to fuel your body, you can also boost your energy levels, rebuild muscle strength and overcome side effects such as anaemia or fatigue.

Find out more information.

 

To see a full list of support programs, or to make an enquiry please email reception.privatebreastcancercentre@mater.org.au or call 07 3163 1166.