2020 a year half empty or half full?
For some, it may feel as though we can put some distance between the uncertainty of 2020 as we enjoy current freedoms. These past weeks, I’ve heard many people say that they didn’t fully appreciate how deeply they had been affected by the events of last year and it’s taken time to process all that has occurred.
Patients undergoing cancer treatment should feel confident about being vaccinated
Under Phase 1B of the Australian COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, patients with cancer are now eligible for priority vaccination. In reality, a number of practical and psychological barriers remain, which may impact take-up of this critical vaccination program.
Celebration of 2020 Picchi Award winners
It has been a long year for the 2020 Picchi Award winners who finally received their trophies last week. Matthew Grant is in the Netherlands experiencing the global pandemic from a European perspective. French-national Deborah Meyran completed her PhD with a young family, has forged new frontiers with her research, and France is suddenly much further away. Stefan Bjelosevic has been bunkered down at Peter Mac at the Johnstone Lab as a key member of the team.
Intimacy and sexual health
Cancer can be devastating in all its forms. There may be much to mourn. Head and neck cancers can be among the most distressing, not only for their obvious ability to alter a person’s appearance but for their capacity to affect a person’s sense of self.
Uniquely qualified graduates to boost cancer workforce
Australia’s first Master of Cancer Sciences graduates are gearing up to present their research projects at a celebratory virtual event hosted by the VCCC alliance next month. If you are looking to build cancer expertise in your organisation – tune in.
First joint Australian and New Zealand Consumer Experience and Leadership in Health Summit
According to Vincent Dumez, Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public, the University of Montreal, we are in the middle of a patient-led innovation revolution. Does that make the 800 people who attended the first joint Australian and New Zealand Consumer Experience and Leadership in Health Summit last month revolutionaries?
Regional clinical trials workforce
Nine study coordinators and 12 clinical trial assistants have been officially mobilised across both regional and metropolitan sites after completing an intensive two-week orientation at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
Cancer and the Older Person
Ray Kelly, Chair of the NEMICS Consumer Reference Group and a member of the NEMICS Governance Committee recently road-tested a new, four-week, part-time massive open online course (MOOC), Cancer and the Older Person, earning a certificate of achievement and giving it the thumbs up.
Share your cancer prevention and control expertise with the next generation of cancer specialists
We require a casual Teaching Assistant in the Cancer Prevention & Control subject to support a tutorial group of up to 25 online graduate students. It is a casual role for 13 weeks during Term 2 2021 teaching period, at an approximate time commitment of around 5-7 hours per week. Commencing immediately.
Help us to fast-track innovations in regional Victoria, particularly those with the poorest cancer outcomes
We are excited to be offering a project management role for an exceptional person possessing clinical trials/research experience, preferably in the emerging area of teletrials.
Assist the next generation of cancer specialists to achieve their research goals
We require a casual Research Project Supervisor in the Research Thesis Capstone subject to take responsibility for the supervision of multiple students (4-5 per 6-month project) within the Master of Cancer Sciences course.
Every crisis presents opportunities
The uptake of telehealth by both patients and health professionals during COVID-19 presents a unique opportunity to reform the future care of people with cancer and many other health conditions.
Published recently in the Internal Medical Journal (IMJ), ‘Telehealth in cancer care: during and beyond the COVID‐19 pandemic‘ provides expert guidance for the routine application of telehealth as a model of optimal and integrated cancer care. More importantly, the paper’s authors identify and discuss benefits, and address some proposed challenges and solutions associated with telehealth.
Cancer Council Victoria's Grants-in-Aid program
A research project to develop new approaches to understanding the cause of colorectal cancer in families has received funding from Cancer Council Victoria.
Although it is preventable, colorectal cancer is still a major public health problem in Australia and the leading cause of cancer-related death. Screening has proven to reduce the incidence and mortality from colorectal cancer in the high-risk group of people with a family history of the disease.
Women of the VCCC - Choose to Challenge
This edition of Alliance celebrates International Women’s Day.
In this issue, women from the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre alliance contribute stories that champion women, discuss leadership and gender parity, and analyse issues, such as unpaid care, that fall, for the most part, into the laps of women.
Melissa Sheldon - VCCC consumer representative
I had just turned 29 and my diagnosis was terminal. Back then there was no cure for melanoma or even treatments to significantly prolong your life with quality. It was clear that I would be lucky to survive two years, let alone five.
Geraldine McDonald - Peter Mac Director of Prevention & Wellbeing
We need to create a culture of inclusion that not only includes hiring more women but focuses on underrepresented and marginalised people such as LGBTIQ and non-binary people as many of these marginalised groups face the same challenges as outlined in gender discrimination. Diversity without inclusion is pointless and essentially results in exclusion.
Dr Sue Matthews – Chief Executive, the Royal Women's Hospital
Research is fundamentally important for our country, it’s the engine of our economy, the driver of innovation and the motivation for change. Ensuring that women play an active role is a no-brainer.
Professor Christine Kilpatrick AO - Melbourne Health
Think about the things we take for granted today like penicillin, anesthetic or chemotherapy, these advances came about because an individual knew there was another way. Women in medicine is another great example. In choosing to challenge and speak up for gender inequality we can call out bias, question stereotypes and promote a more inclusive workplace.
Dr Charis Teh - Victorian Cancer Agency Mid-Career Postdoctoral Fellow, WEHI
I think that gender parity and opportunities for women are progressing steadily. The 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry is a good illustration of this. It was awarded to two incredible women who discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors. It is an amazing story and opens up an exciting future for us all.
Dr Sathana Dushyanthen – VCCC Graduate Education Specialist, science communicator
For the better part of 2020 in Victoria, we were indoors, in lockdown and physically isolated yet ever connected through technology. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic. And as the virus spread, an equally insidious and virulent enemy was invading our global networks - the misinformation and disinformation infodemic was upon us.
Professor Jennifer Philip - VCCC Academic Lead, Palliative Care
In my work in palliative care, I often meet extraordinary women. Impressive, often brave and determined women – almost always quietly going about their business of providing care, ensuring others are comfortable, even flourishing despite what might be very difficult circumstances.
Dr Keely Bumsted O’Brien - WEHI Scientific Education Office
Many of us have heard about the importance of leadership. This may lead you to question - how can I become a leader and what does leadership mean to me? Maybe you've been told you need leadership skills to get ahead and be successful. We agree leadership is important and good leadership is even more critical. We believe that everyone is a leader; we'd like to challenge you to start thinking about your own leadership quest.
What does sexual health look like following head and neck cancer diagnosis and treatment?
The increasing incidence of human papillomavirus-associated (HPV) oropharyngeal cancers has seen some patients report on the challenges in the resumption of sexual activity and intimacy following treatment, with feelings of guilt, resentment, or blame common among patients, and within their intimate relationships.
Professor Mei Krishnasamy – VCCC Research and Education Lead, Nursing
The WHO State of the World’s Nursing 2020 report calls for the creation of at least 6,000,000 new nursing jobs worldwide by 2030, and massive acceleration of nursing education. Why? Quite simply - “to keep the world healthy”.
Women represent 57 per cent of the total members
The VCCC alliance is delighted to announce the appointment of 137 people to guide development and implementation of the VCCC's new Strategic Program Plan 2021-24. This includes 18 consumers joining other cancer experts to form nine specialised steering groups to enable the achievement of ambitious goals to improve outcomes for more Victorians with cancer.