Cancer Council Victoria welcomes cancer screening focus in State Budget

Tuesday 2 May, 2017


Cancer Council Victoria has welcomed a focus on cancer screening in today’s State Budget to increase the detection of preventable cancers and reduce the number of late stage cancers diagnosed in Victoria

The screening and immunisation measures include:  

  • the delivery of 10,000 additional breast screens; 
  • increasing the number of Victorians participating in the National Bowel Cancer Screening program by 10,000; 
  • a training program for oral health professionals to identify oral cancers during routine check-ups; 
  • reducing the gap in screening rates and cancer outcomes for Aboriginal Victorians and other people at high risk; 
  • providing a targeted Human Papilloma Virus vaccination program; and 
  • expanding the free hepatitis B vaccinations program to include people who are born in countries with high prevalence of hepatitis B, delivering approximately 10,000 more vaccinations. 


Cancer Council Victoria CEO Todd Harper said initiatives in early detection are a smart investment.

“These initiatives will reduce the burden of cancer in Victoria. 

“We welcome a concentration on equity and on better understanding and addressing the differences in screening and outcomes for certain cancers, regions and population groups,” he said. 

Mr Harper said there is an opportunity to save thousands of lives in future years by increasing participation in bowel screening. 

“Encouraging people aged over 50 to take part in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is a priority for us at Cancer Council Victoria because we know treatment is incredibly successful for early stage disease.

“The test is simple and can be done in the comfort of your own home, but currently only 38% of eligible Victorians take part in the free screening program. Our goal is to increase participation to 50% of the eligible Victorian population by 2021.”

Mr Harper said it is also encouraging to see support for local councils in the Budget to help them implement the state’s new smokefree outdoor dining laws.

“While substantial progress has been made, there are still 700,000 smokers in Victoria and unless more is done, it is a sad reality up to two-thirds will die as a result of their smoking.


Cancer Facts:

  • One in three Victorians will develop a cancer by the age of 75.
  • Every day, 87 Victorians will hear the words ‘you have cancer’.
  • Every day, 30 Victorian lives are lost to cancer.
  • From 1985 – 2014, five-year survival increased from 47% to 67%.
  • The number of new cancer diagnoses in Victoria is expected to rise to 41,000 by 2026.
  • Breast cancer is the second more common new cancer in Victoria. 4,341 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2015, with 722 people losing their lives to the disease.
  • Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in Victoria, with 3,810 news cancer in 2015. 1,389 lost their lives to bowel cancer in 2015.