Cancer Council welcomes new moves to improve cancer prevention and cancer research

Friday 21 November, 2014

Cancer Council Victoria has welcomed today's announcement that a re-elected Coalition Government would invest in cancer research, and campaigns and programs to help Victorians cut their cancer risk.

Cancer Council released its election priorities in July, and called on all political parties to back the measures designed to prevent, treat and research cancer as well support all Victorians affected by the disease. The priorities include the introduction of smokefree outdoor drinking and dining areas, ongoing funding for public education campaigns that help people cut their cancer risk and investment in research that focusses on less common, high mortality cancers.

Premier Denis Napthine and Health Minister David Davis today outlined their cancer package, which includes:

  • $32 million towards anti-smoking programs and tobacco control initiatives, as well as a reaffirmed commitment to introduce smokefree outdoor dining areas;
  • An additional $12 million in research into less common cancers; and
  • $10 million towards bowel and liver cancer screening and prevention.

Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper welcomed a proposed $12 million in funding for cancer prevention campaigns, saying that these were a blue-chip investment for governments.

"Campaigns that help Victorians stop cancer before it starts save more than lives - they save the public purse too. We know that for every dollar invested in the SunSmart campaign, the government saves $3.60 in health care costs."
Also supported was funding towards both bowel cancer screening and liver cancer prevention.

"Increasing numbers of Victorians are experiencing liver cancer, and survival rates remain low when compared with other cancers. Viral hepatitis B is behind some 80 per cent of liver cancers globally so we hope to see this funding channeled into health promotion programs in communities with high rates of hepatitis B infection," said Mr Harper.

Amongst the announcements was a $12 million investment in research into less common cancers.

"While survival rates for many cancer types have improved significantly in recent years, many less common cancers, like those of the brain, pancreas, ovary and bladder continue to have high mortality rates. If we are to drive the significant increases in survival we all hope for, long-term research into these cancers is necessary," said Mr Harper.

Mr Harper said the Cancer Council is about to update all its supporters on the cancer commitments made by political parties prior to the November 29 state election.