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Breast Cancer Review Panel Adds Two Experts

The review panel investigating the incidence of breast cancer at Brisbane's ABC headquarters at Toowong has added two more experts to the panel.//

ABC managing director Mark Scott said that Dr Joanne Aitken and Professor Malcolm Sim will be joining the panel chaired by Dr Bruce Armstrong.

Mr Scott added that a staff reference group had already been established to work alongside the panel.

The review panel was established earlier this month by the ABC management after it was revealed 12 women who worked at ABC broadcaster's headquarters in Brisbane's inner-west, had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the past 11 years.

Dr Aitken is a cancer epidemiologist and the Director of the Viertel Centre for Research in Cancer Control at the Queensland Cancer Fund.

Professor Sim is an occupational and public health physician who is heading Monash University's Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health.

Mr Scott said, 'This team of experts together with Dr Bruce Armstrong, one of Australia's foremost authorities on the causes and control of cancers, will give the greatest insight into whether we have any issues arising from the technology, buildings or location of the facility.'

The reference group will be made up of ABC staff members Ian Eckersley, Kate Scanlan and Nadia Farha who will have regular meetings with Professor Armstrong to discuss the panel's progress.

Speaking about the reference group, 'I am committed to achieving trust and transparency without hindering the capacity of Professor Armstrong's panel to do their work.They will make a significant contribution to the investigative effort.'

During the investigation support services such as free mammograms for all women at the Toowong office and a free counselling service would continue to be available during the investigation.

Although Mr Scott has indicated that he would not relocate staff unless investigation re veals some evidence of cancer cluster, staff has resolved to suspend industrial action for the time being.

According to Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Queensland secretary David Waters the staff would await the outcome of the investigation which is expected to take months before they decide on their next course of action.


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