More than 50 per cent of breast cancer survivors report they have been affected by depression or anxiety after their breast cancer diagnosis¹. Accordingly, the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and beyondblue: the national depression initiative launched a new resource to provide information about the issues and where to get help.
BCNA board member and breast cancer survivor, Raelene Boyle, launched the new Depression and Breast Cancer Fact Sheet saying: “After my breast cancer diagnosis, I went into deep depression.”
“The hard part about depression is that you just don’t know how to get out of it. After diagnosis and treatment, I started to think about what causes me to be depressed. With the help of others, I was able to work out my triggers and some were as simple as not exercising.”
“I don’t confront the dark days too often now. I no longer take medication and know my triggers. It’s something I will always live with, but after receiving help it’s now completely manageable,” Ms Boyle said.
beyondblue Chairman Jeff Kennett said Raelene’s story is quite common. “It’s important for people to understand they shouldn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to seek help for depression. Maintaining good mental health is just as important as staying physically healthy,” he said.
The Depression and Breast Cancer Fact sheet, available through Breast Cancer Network Australia or beyondblue, gives practical advice on dealing with depression.
To obtain a copy of the fact sheet contact Breast Cancer Network Australia on 1800 500 258 or go to the website at www.bcna.org.au
For the fact sheet and more information on depression, available treatments and how to help someone call the beyondblue information line 1300 22 46236 or visit www.beyondblue.org.au
1. Burgess C. Cornelius V. Love S. Graham J. Richards M. Ramirez A. Depression and anxiety in women
with early breast cancer: five year observational cohort study. BMJ. 330(7493):702, 2005 Mar 26.