22 episodes

Dr Charlotte Tottman established her own private practice in psycho oncology, providing psychological treatment for cancer-related distress, before being diagnosed with breast cancer herself, giving Charlotte’s understanding of a cancer experience a whole new dimension.

Despite the circumstances, Charlotte’s own diagnosis and clinical experience enables her to connect with those who are going through comparable situations, giving them a place to reflect and relate, and learn to navigate and better understand psychological discomfort in a cancer space.

Throughout the podcast series we have meaningful conversations about many topics, including the initial shock of diagnosis, emotional isolation, and coming to terms with those who show up, and those who may not during your journey, body image difficulties, how cancer changes your overall perception of life, the impact on sexuality and intimacy, and fear of cancer recurrence.  

Charlotte’s own vulnerability is evident in each of the episodes, which lay out her lived experience, provide explanations of psychological triggers and responses, and practical strategies that may help someone on their own cancer journey.

We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email contact@bcna.org.au.

Upfront About Breast Cancer – What You Don't Know Until You Do, with Dr Charlotte Tottman Breast Cancer Network Australia

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.9 • 29 Ratings

Dr Charlotte Tottman established her own private practice in psycho oncology, providing psychological treatment for cancer-related distress, before being diagnosed with breast cancer herself, giving Charlotte’s understanding of a cancer experience a whole new dimension.

Despite the circumstances, Charlotte’s own diagnosis and clinical experience enables her to connect with those who are going through comparable situations, giving them a place to reflect and relate, and learn to navigate and better understand psychological discomfort in a cancer space.

Throughout the podcast series we have meaningful conversations about many topics, including the initial shock of diagnosis, emotional isolation, and coming to terms with those who show up, and those who may not during your journey, body image difficulties, how cancer changes your overall perception of life, the impact on sexuality and intimacy, and fear of cancer recurrence.  

Charlotte’s own vulnerability is evident in each of the episodes, which lay out her lived experience, provide explanations of psychological triggers and responses, and practical strategies that may help someone on their own cancer journey.

We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email contact@bcna.org.au.

    Season 2: Episode 0: Welcome to Unlimited

    Season 2: Episode 0: Welcome to Unlimited

    Episode 0: Welcome to Season 2: Unlimited  We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email helpline@bcna.org.au  Welcome to What You Don’t Know Until You Do: Unlimited, with Dr Charlotte Tottman.  Charlotte and Kellie reflect on the success of season 1 of the podcast and share the topics and themes that they will be exploring through Charlotte’s clinical experience in season 2.  They discuss what unlimited means and unpack and tackle the things we often don’t want to speak about due to avoidance and protection, but these conversations often allow us to confront our fears and more importantly, make us feel empowered.  This podcast was recorded in February 2023  RESOURCES:  * Sign up to My Journey (https://myjourney.org.au/) and access a range of resources  * Visit our Online Network (https://www.bcna.org.au/onlinenetwork/) to connect with people going through a similar experience  Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons and this episode is proudly brought to you by Sussan.  Produced by Dr Charlotte Tottman and BCNA.  Engineered and edited by Jane Nield at SEN Studios.  Want to get in touch? Visit our website at www.bcna.org.au, email us at helpline@bcna.org.au (mailto:helpline@bcna.org.au), or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 

    Season 2: Episode 1: A Mixed Dozen: Anxiety in a Cancer Context

    Season 2: Episode 1: A Mixed Dozen: Anxiety in a Cancer Context

    Episode 1: A Mixed Dozen: Anxiety in a Cancer Context  We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email helpline@bcna.org.au  Let’s be upfront about anxiety in a cancer content. In this episode Charlotte discusses ‘the mixed dozen’: the types of anxiety that are common during and beyond a cancer diagnosis, including diagnosis shock, fear of recurrence, scan anxiety and the impact on family, partner and friends. We also explore some common behavioural responses and strategies that can help such as challenging the anxiety, sitting in the uncertainty, getting to know your fear and triggers and mindfulness and exercise. This podcast was recorded in February 2023  RESOURCES:  * Sign up to My Journey (https://myjourney.org.au/) and access a range of resources  * Visit our Online Network (https://www.bcna.org.au/onlinenetwork/) to connect with people going through a similar experience  Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons and this episode is proudly brought to you by Sussan.  Produced by Dr Charlotte Tottman and BCNA.  Engineered and edited by Jane Nield at SEN Studios.  Want to get in touch? Visit our website at www.bcna.org.au, email us at helpline@bcna.org.au, or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 

    • 57 min
    Season 2: Episode 2: Forged in Fire: Relationships with your Medical Team and Self-advocacy

    Season 2: Episode 2: Forged in Fire: Relationships with your Medical Team and Self-advocacy

    Episode 2: Forged in Fire: Relationships with your Medical Team and Self-advocacy  We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email helpline@bcna.org.au  Let’s be Upfront about navigating relationships with your medical team. Your medical team is often comprised of a group of professionals who you don’t know and who come into your life at short notice, in a highly stressful and emotional time. In this episode, Charlotte explores how for many people their experience with their medical team is a positive one, however this isn’t always the case. Charlotte shares how it’s important to advocate for yourself and have expectations of what you can reasonably expect from different members of your medical team and what is important to you. We also learn about cognitive and behavioral strategies to help you identify your individual needs and tools that can assist. This podcast was recorded in February 2023  RESOURCES:  * Sign up to My Journey (https://myjourney.org.au/) and access a range of resources  * Visit our Online Network (https://www.bcna.org.au/onlinenetwork/) to connect with people going through a similar experience  Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons and this episode is proudly brought to you by Sussan.  Produced by Dr Charlotte Tottman and BCNA.  Engineered and edited by Jane Nield at SEN Studios.  Want to get in touch? Visit our website at www.bcna.org.au, email us at helpline@bcna.org.au, or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 

    • 46 min
    Season 2: Episode 3: Sugar, Stress, and Misdemeanours: Causal Beliefs

    Season 2: Episode 3: Sugar, Stress, and Misdemeanours: Causal Beliefs

    Episode 3: Sugar, Stress, and Misdemeanours: Causal Beliefs  We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email helpline@bcna.org.au  Let’s be upfront about causal beliefs and how they impact our feelings and behaviours.  It is common for people to search for an explanation to help them make sense of a situation and why it may have happened to them. Within a cancer context, people often want to understand what caused their cancer and what they did that may have resulted in a diagnosis.  In this episode Charlotte explores the thinking behind causal beliefs and breaks down the common elements and lifestyle behaviours people think may have contributed to their diagnosis. We also learn about risks associated with casual beliefs and discover the acceptance model.  This podcast was recorded in February 2023  RESOURCES:  * Sign up to My Journey (https://myjourney.org.au/) and access a range of resources  * Visit our Online Network (https://www.bcna.org.au/onlinenetwork/) to connect with people going through a similar experience  Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons and this episode is proudly brought to you by Sussan.  Produced by Dr Charlotte Tottman and BCNA.  Engineered and edited by Jane Nield at SEN Studios.  Want to get in touch? Visit our website at www.bcna.org.au, email us at helpline@bcna.org.au, or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 

    • 40 min
    Season 2: Episode 4: Bittersweet: Living with Metastatic Disease

    Season 2: Episode 4: Bittersweet: Living with Metastatic Disease

    Episode 4: Bittersweet: Living with Metastatic Disease  We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email helpline@bcna.org.au  Let’s be upfront about the challenges for those living with metastatic breast cancer. In this episode Charlotte discusses metastatic disease from a psychological perspective, exploring the thin line between coping and not coping, artificial intensity, avoidance and reassurance. BCNA and Charlotte would like to acknowledge BCNA Consumer Representative Dr Andrea Smith who generously shared her story and knowledge about living with metastatic breast cancer in this episode.  This podcast was recorded in February 2023  RESOURCES:  * Sign up to My Journey (https://myjourney.org.au/) and access a range of resources  * Visit our Online Network (https://www.bcna.org.au/onlinenetwork/) to connect with people going through a similar experience  Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons and this episode is proudly brought to you by Sussan.  Produced by Dr Charlotte Tottman and BCNA.  Engineered and edited by Jane Nield at SEN Studios.  Want to get in touch? Visit our website at www.bcna.org.au, email us at helpline@bcna.org.au (mailto:helpline@bcna.org.au), or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 

    • 50 min
    Season 2: Episode 5: Re-entry Wobbles: Re-starting Life after Cancer Treatment

    Season 2: Episode 5: Re-entry Wobbles: Re-starting Life after Cancer Treatment

    Episode 5: Re-entry Wobbles: Re-starting Life after Cancer Treatment  We recommend that listeners exercise self-care when listening to this podcast, as some may find the content upsetting. BCNA’s Helpline provides a free confidential telephone and email service for people diagnosed with breast cancer, their family and friends. Our experienced team can help with your questions and concerns and direct you to relevant resources and services. Call 1800 500 258 or email helpline@bcna.org.au  Let’s be upfront about life after cancer treatment. It can be difficult to adapt to life after a breast cancer diagnosis and beyond. In this episode, Charlotte explains challenges in the experience of re-entering work and other obligations after cancer treatment, the common drop in self-confidence, and the importance of purpose and meaning. Just like physical stamina, strength, and capacity, we decondition psychologically much faster than we recondition. Charlotte shares strategies including repetition that allow a sense of progression and success that can then act as a motivator.  This podcast was recorded in February 2023  RESOURCES:  * Sign up to My Journey (https://myjourney.org.au/) and access a range of resources  * Visit our Online Network (https://www.bcna.org.au/onlinenetwork/) to connect with people going through a similar experience  Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons and this episode is proudly brought to you by Sussan.  Produced by Dr Charlotte Tottman and BCNA.  Engineered and edited by Jane Nield at SEN Studios.  Want to get in touch? Visit our website at www.bcna.org.au (https://auc-word-edit.officeapps.live.com/we/www.bcna.org.au), email us at helpline@bcna.org.au (mailto:helpline@bcna.org.au), or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258 

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

fee is a shame ,

A light bulb experience! Better late than never 🙏

Dr Charlotte Tottman’s manner and her willingness to share from her own experience has been a lightbulb 💡 moment for me.

I now realise, I have been on autopilot since Day 1. throughout treatment, complications and surgeries.

The loss of other dear friends with BC along the journey has also been very real and tragic dimension.

In the past six months, after much delay my emotions have come flooding through. It has affected my confidence and resilience.

Why I am constantly on high alert and chronically tired?

Thank you. I will take a deep breath and start to process the whole chapter.

sparkles7 ,

Just amazing

I listened to this podcast when I was initially diagnosed with breast cancer and then I re-listened as I went through each phase. Dr Charlotte is intelligent, warm and reassuring in a time when my life felt like it was spinning out of control. I loved being able to get real, evidence based information here for free from someone who has been through breast cancer and has a psychology background. Thank you so much for this podcast. It helped me immeasurably.

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