First birthday for St Andrew's Breast Care Service


Marking its first birthday in May, the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Breast Care Service has much to celebrate as the team prepares to welcome back some of their very first patients for regular breast screening. 

Breast Care teamLocated in the Brisbane CBD and designed to provide personalised breast care through specialist imagining, diagnosis and treatment, the service has already had the privilege of caring for many women.

Breast Care Service Nurse Practitioner and Queensland’s only Nurse Practitioner in Breast Oncology, Natasha Keir, said the team were proud of the service and model of care they have established for women.

“Breast cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in Australia, it affects women of all ages, and it’s estimated that around 20,000 women will be diagnosed this year. It also affects some men. That makes our service an incredibly important one for the community,” Natasha said.

“Our role is to diagnose early. Early diagnosis of breast cancer remains extremely important and helps to contribute to the 92 percent survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer in Queensland.”

An important part of early diagnosis is regular breast screening for women over the age of 40.

“We recommend regular breast screening for women over the age of 40, and it’s important that if women notice any changes in their breast that they talk to their GP. With 20 per cent of breast cancers diagnosed in young women under the age of 50, it is important to investigate every lump or change, no matter the age,” Natasha said.

“Mammograms are the recommended screening tool for the early detection of breast cancer. Here at St Andrew’s, we also offer a comprehensive breast health assessment along with a detailed breast ultrasound.

“If we find a lesion which requires further investigation, we prioritise and provide timely and co-ordinated care, keeping the patient’s GP informed at all times,” she said.

The benefits of St Andrew’s specialised service go well beyond world-class breast screening to provide patients with a collaborative team of specialist nurses, radiologists, breast surgeons, oncologists and a women’s health physiotherapist.

“There are many benefits for patients but the most important is having access to our specialised team, especially our radiologists, who have significant experience in breast imaging and who interpret the results and provide those results promptly for our patients,” Natasha said.

“We believe in expediting the process as much as we possibly can because it’s incredibly important for the wellbeing of the patient who may have just heard the word cancer for the first time.”

With no ‘one size fits all’ treatment option for breast cancer, the team are committed to providing tailored care and are there every step of the way to support and help guide patients through the treatment decision-making process.

“I am privileged to be able to walk alongside our patients supporting them, and am focussed on their long-term wellbeing and health outcomes, which continues well beyond diagnosis, immediate surgery and treatment,” Natasha said.

“In the future, we look forward to our service growing and to being there for generations of women to provide the very best and latest in breast screening and care.”

For more information, please visit St Andrew's Breast Care Service