Asbestos information

“Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer that affects protective membranes surrounding lungs, heart and abdominal cavity that’s mainly caused by asbestos exposure.Although asbestos use in this country has dropped in recent decades, a steady number of people are still getting mesothelioma. That’s because this cancer can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure before symptoms appear, and an oncologist can make a definitive diagnosis.

While there’s no cure for mesothelioma and the outlook is generally poor, researchers have made significant progress in understanding the cancer and developing new treatment options and alternative therapies.

If you, or anyone that you know are affected by this disease or believe you have been exposed to asbestos, you can find more information from The Mesothelioma Center ( They provide free informational books, packets and a Patient Advocacy program that works 1-on-1 with individuals to help them find local doctors, treatment centers and support groups.”

Mesothelioma site at

April’s Bendigo Cancer Support Group (BCSG) Meeting

Hi All,

I hope you had a lovely Easter.

Today we will share our stories, how we are going and have a cuppa.

We will meet as usual, in the Bendigo Cancer Centre, at Bendigo hospital/health, Mercy Street, ground floor.

Sharon Walsh, Bendigo health Volunteer Coordinator, will attend our meeting today. We will discuss how the BCSG can partner with the Volunteer Services to better engage hospital patients and promote our service.

Look forward to seeing you!

Kind regards, Rochelle

February meeting venue

Hi All,

Today’s Bendigo Cancer Support Group meeting will be at 1pm at the Bendigo Health
New Cancer Centre,ground floor of the new hospital, enter via Mercy Street, Bendigo.
Please wait at the Cancer Centre front reception.

Thank you, Rochelle

meeting venues

Hi All,

Today’s Bendigo Cancer Support Group meeting will be the usual time at the All Season’s Bendigo, in the Board room:
171-183 McIvor Hwy, Bendigo, VIC, Australia, 3550
Phone: (61) 3 5443 8166 Fax: (61) 3 5441 8688

February’s meeting will be at the usual time at Bendigo Health’s new hospital Cancer Centre, enter via Mercy Street and ask the main reception for directions.
The New Cancer Centre is on the ground floor on the left.
Please take a seat at the main reception waiting area.

Thank you, Rochelle

Christmas 2016

Dear All,

You are invited to celebrate Christmas together:

At the All Seasons Hotel, 171-183 McIvor Road, Bendigo

Ask reception for the Board Room. Order meals at Bistro and request they be taken to the Board Room.

Tuesday 20th December at 1pm

RSVP: 13/12/16 to Rochelle or phone 5454 9251

In the usual spirit of the BCSG Christmas party can you please bring along one Christmas gift per person, as part of the BCSG Chris Kindle to the value of $5-10.

Hope to see you there!
Ho, Ho, Ho, Rochelle

The Unique Issues of Mesothelioma

The Unique Issues of Mesothelioma
For many people, the only time they have heard the word ‘mesothelioma’ is radio ads and television advertisements. The truth is mesothelioma is so much more than that.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer primarily caused by a prolonged history of asbestos exposure. This is often the result of occupational exposure from careers in construction, auto repair, the military and many other occupations regularly exposing workers to asbestos.
Every year, an estimated 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States. Most commonly, the disease affects people over the age of 60, but there are several known cases in people as young as 30 years old. The cancer has an especially long latency period, which means it can take decades for any symptoms to show up. On average, it takes 20-50 years from a patient’s initial exposure to asbestos until an actual mesothelioma diagnosis is made.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are four main types of mesothelioma: Pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular. Each is named after the area of the body where the cancer was initially found.
The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which is found in the lining of the lungs known as the pleura. It makes up roughly 75 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses.
The second most common type of mesothelioma is found in the peritoneum, the lining of the abdomen; this is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Making up approximately 20 percent of all mesothelioma cases, the peritoneal form typically has a slightly better prognosis than the pleural type.
Diagnosing Mesothelioma
The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are often very subtle until later stages of the disease. As a result, many patients may underestimate the importance of speaking to their physician about minor concerns. The most common symptoms include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest and abdomen pain, dry cough and wheezing.
Many of these symptoms overlap with other less aggressive conditions, including COPD, pulmonary fibrosis and other lung cancers. Due to this, it is not uncommon for patients to initially be misdiagnosed by a general doctor. This is one of the key reasons patients need to see a mesothelioma specialist if there is a possibility that they have the aggressive asbestos cancer.
Mesothelioma Treatments and Advancements
Every day, researchers and physicians are partnering to find the latest mesothelioma treatment options to extend the lives of patients. The most common mesothelioma treatments include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. More recently, researchers are looking at the efficacy of immunotherapy in treating mesothelioma. Several clinical trials are looking into immunotherapy at various points of a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Recently, doctors and researchers have begun exploring the effectiveness of immunotherapy drugs combined with aggressive surgery. They are also looking into creating a more personalized treatment approach by targeting specific gene mutations found in mesothelioma patients. It is with these advancements that patients and physicians alike can hope to see a cure for mesothelioma in the future.

Cara Tompot: Cara joined The Mesothelioma Center as Social Media Specialist in July 2015 to continue her mission of making a difference in world. Every day, Cara speaks with survivors, caregivers and their loved ones in the online mesothelioma community to answer questions and offer emotional support. If you have a story idea for Cara or you’d like to learn more about social media, please email her at

2015 Guest Speakers

The following guest speakers will attend the Bendigo Cancer Support Group meetings:

April-Bendigo Health Medical Oncology Social Worker – Sean Middleton, will present a social work service overview 

June-Loddon Mallee Integrated Cancer Service (LMICS) – Anita Shen, will present on training for consumers and staff in relation to a consumer network and advisory committee; and, raise awareness of cancer as a chronic condition discussing services available.

July-Bendigo Historian and Bush Poet– Jim Evans

August-Travellers Aid-service overview

September-No speaker

October-The Bendigo Meditation Centre-Mindfulness and relaxation strategies

November-Group reflection

December-Christmas Party

We hope to see you there!

2015 guest speakers

The following guest speakers will attend the 2015 Bendigo Cancer Support Group meetings at the Bendigo Club, Park Street, Strathdale:


Bendigo Health Medical Oncology Social Worker – Sean Middleton, will present a social work service overview today 21/4/15 at 2pm.


Future speakers include:

Travellers Aid-service overview

How to meditate-perspective and guidance from a Buddist Nun

Keeping motivated – watch this’s going to be a good one!

Bendigo Historian – Jim Evans



Guest speakers Tuesday 18th November

The following speakers will present next Tuesday 18th November at the Bendigo Cancer Support Group meeting between 1-3pm at the Bendigo Club:

1.30pm – CFA– Fire readiness

2p.m – Victorian Ambulance Service– New fees for hospital transfers

2.30pm – Registered Nurse – Oncology massage

All welcome!


Moving Beyond Cancer to Wellness forum:

Thursday 20th November


Lakeside Motor Inn-286 Napier Street, Bendigo (opposite Lake Weeroona).

An interactive forum for survivors, their families and carer to share experiences after completing treatment; Providing information to survivors and carers on how to adjust to life after cancer treatment; topics include managing side effects of treatment, diet, exercise, emotional health and self-care, returning to work, and information and support. RSVP Suellen Pepperell: or 03 5454 8382 or visit for more information.

Guest Speakers at BCSG meetings

Hi All,

Rachel Morris will present at our October 21st 2014 Bendigo Cancer Support Group (BCSG) meeting between 1-3pm.  Rachel is employed by Bendigo Health with the New Hospital Project Team and will talk about the new Wellness Centre to be developed on the hospital site.  This is a great opportunity to hear about wholistic and other services that are planned to be made available to the Bendigo community, as part of the Wellness centre, and possibly ask questions about the New Hospital project.

You are all Welcome!

Regards, Rochelle (Welfare Worker to the BCSG)