Cancer Council Victoria has welcomed the announcement of the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 today, applauding the Victorian Government’s commitment to eliminate cervical cancer.
The four-year plan tabled in parliament today aligns with Cancer Council Victoria’s objective to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030 – possibly becoming the first jurisdiction in Australia to do so.
“To see the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem being prioritised by the Victorian Government is fantastic, and we are confident this ambitious challenge is one we are equal to,” said Cancer Council Victoria CEO, Mr Todd Harper.
Kate Broun Manager of Screening, Early Detection and Immunisation at Cancer Council Victoria said targeting communities with lower screening rates would be key to achieving the elimination target.
“By encouraging women to take part in cervical screening, increasing HPV vaccinations to vulnerable groups and continuing a robust program of community engagement work in unscreened and under-screened populations, we can look forward to a future free of cervical cancer,” said Ms Broun.
The Cancer Plan also commits to addressing the impact of people deferring cancer screening, early detection and treatment during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“There is increasing concerns that people with signs of cancer, and other health conditions, may not be contacting their GPs to discuss new symptoms. This delay could mean people present later with more complicated and progressed cancer, making treatment options more challenging,” said Mr Harper.
“Addressing the specific concerns about cancer care during COVID-19 is important as the earlier a cancer is detected, the more successful the outcome”.
Mr. Harper said Cancer Council Victoria is looking forward to working with the Victorian Government to reduce the impact of cancer on all Victorians.