McGrath Foundation reveal one in five Australians experiencing breast cancer will miss out on care

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: McGrath Foundation releases emotive content campaign to highlight need for vital supportive care

New research commissioned by the McGrath Foundation reveals that one in five people in Australia experiencing breast cancer (23%) will miss out on the vital support of a dedicated breast care nurse this year.1

The research comes as breast cancer incidence in Australia is rising, with more than 20,000 people expected to be diagnosed in 2022.2 Along with improved survival rates and the increasingly complex treatment trajectory, the ongoing need for specialist breast care nurses continues to grow.

To raise awareness of this gap in care, the McGrath Foundation has released an emotive content campaign ahead of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

Through laughter and tears, the hero content features five individuals* who have experienced a breast cancer diagnosis and had their life change course overnight, from 41-year-old mother-of-four, Samantha Jarnet to 73-year-old metastatic breast cancer patient, Gillian (Gilly) Biven. Each recounts the critical role of their McGrath Breast Care Nurse throughout their diagnosis and treatment, with a take home message that no one deserves to miss out on care.



McGrath Foundation CEO Holly Masters said, “A breast cancer diagnosis can be life changing and it’s our mission to ensure that no one goes through breast cancer without the care of a breast care nurse. Everyone deserves access to this care, but sadly, our research shows that one in five people in Australia will still miss out.

“Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a timely reminder of why it’s critical that we reach our goal to fund 250 McGrath Breast Care Nurses by 2025 and address this gap in care. We are calling on Australians to help us to reach this goal because we want to make sure no one misses out on care.”

McGrath Foundation research shows that early access to a McGrath Breast Care Nurse significantly improves the experience and outcomes of a person with breast cancer.3

Samantha Jarnet, who featured in the campaign video, attests to this. Samantha was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 38 and credits her breast care nurse with changing her life.

While having chemotherapy my mental health spiralled. In a moment of crisis, I called my McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Sarah Maguire. She literally turned my world around and helped me access the support I needed – I wouldn’t be here without her. It’s truly an honour to be able to share my experience with the nation to raise awareness of this invaluable care this Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” said Samantha Jarnet.

Since its inception in 2005, the McGrath Foundation has supported more than 110,000 individuals and families impacted by breast cancer and now funds 185 McGrath Breast Care Nurses providing free care and support in communities across Australia.

McGrath Foundation Ambassador and Director, Tracy Bevan concludes, “McGrath Breast Care Nurses are at the heart of breast cancer care, from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment. I hope this campaign highlights how integral they are to the emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of breast cancer patients. We are working towards a future where everyone has access to this vital care, but we can’t do it without the support of the community.”

For the duration of October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Foundation is calling on the nation to visit and make a donation to support its goal to fund 250 McGrath Breast Care Nurses by 2025.



1 Deloitte Access Economics, Methodology of the updated Breast Cancer Nurse Needs Assessment Model, June 2022

2 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2022. Cancer data in Australia. Cat. no. CAN 122. Canberra: AIHW. Accessed June 2022;

3 Health Consult, “Evaluation of the Second Federal Government Funded Breast Care Initiative – Final Evaluation Report” 2016

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