This year’s Q&A event during the ASM will be broadcast live from Federation Square from 5:30-7pm, Wednesday 27 July, and will explore the topic of breast cancer in young women.

Moderated by Author and Journalist Annabel Crabb, our panel of experts are:

  • Ann Partridge – Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the United States and Vice Chair of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she also serves as Director of the Adult Survivorship Program and leads the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer.

  • Laura McCambridge – Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 31, Laura is a participant in an Australian clinical trial called the Breast MRI Evaluation Study. She is passionate about research and has six years experience in clinical research coordination.

  • Nicholas Wilcken – Director of Medical Oncology at the Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre Westmead in Sydney and Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. He is also a Breast Cancer Trials Board Director.

  • Leslie Gilham – Chair of the Breast Cancer Trials Consumer Advisory Panel and has a personal history of breast cancer. Leslie also participated in the TEXT clinical trial.

  • Lesley Stafford – Clinical psychologist and consultant in the Breast Service and Familial Cancer Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital as well as in private practice. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

  • Holly Keane – Holly is a Breast Surgical Oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne. She is also a Breast Surgery Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.

All women are at risk of developing breast cancer and the risk greatly increases with age with most cases of breast cancer occurring in women over the age of 50. However, young women diagnosed with breast cancer can often face unique challenges and are more likely to be diagnosed with a more aggressive type of cancer.

The definition of ‘young women’ in the breast cancer sense, refers to women who are pre-menopausal or approximately 45 years and younger. Approximately 15% of breast cancers diagnosed in Australia are women in this age group.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. But for those aged 20-39 years in Australia, it is also the most common cause of cancer death.

Some of the challenges facing young women diagnosed with breast cancer may include premature menopause, fertility and sexuality issues, and the impact of breast cancer on caring for young children, education and careers. As a result, young women may experience higher levels of medical and psychosocial distress following a diagnosis.

Discussion will include research and clinical trials to improve treatments and prevention strategies, the psychological impact of breast cancer, treating breast cancer with a multidisciplinary team and support for young women.

ASM delegates wishing to attend the live broadcast at Federation Square must email media@bctrials.org.au for confirmation, as numbers are strictly limited at the venue.

Delegates wanting to watch the Q&A online, may register here.