While 2020 provided many challenges for us all, I wanted to write to tell you about the amazing impact you had and how you were able to support cancer patients, to help prevent cancer, and to save lives.
As a result of COVID, demands for our support services increased. Calls to our 13 11 20 information and support line quadrupled and we had 5,000 calls directly related to cancer and COVID. Our support services have never been so important and as they are 100% donor funded, we relied on your generosity to ensure we were there for those when they needed it most.
Thank you for your generous support in 2020. You’ve contributed to cancer research, prevention and support services for all Victorians affected by cancer.
The pandemic and Government restrictions meant many people were too afraid to attend appointments or had treatments delayed. We were very worried about people not seeing their GPs and that cancers might not be picked up. Data shows there has been a reduction in cancer diagnoses and so we wanted to tell the community not to delay contacting their doctor.
We were able to get this message out because of your support so thank you. You have helped prevent cancers and ensure they are picked up at an early stage when there is more chance of successful treatment. For example, your support has helped Dr Helen Dyett diagnose more skin cancers in their early stages.
There has been some incredible research that took place last year. These include projects inside laboratories (like Dr Na Li's breast cancer project) and in our epidemiology and behavioural science divisions.
These researchers are working every day to find new and improved treatments and improve the way we prevent and detect cancer.
Thanks to you, we were able to fund 40 projects taking place in Victorian hospitals and laboratories. This is critical funding as the research sector has been hit hard by the pandemic and the recession. Your generosity ensures cancer research can continue.
You were instrumental in the work done in 2020 to prevent cancer, support patients and save lives. I can’t thank you enough for your generosity.
If you would like to learn more about the programs, services and projects you fund and the impact they’re having, our Breakthrough newsletter and e-news provides this information throughout the year. If you’d like to receive these into the future, you can opt in here.
I hope you have been able to enjoy the festive season and spend some time with family and friends. It’s been a tough year and I hope 2021 has better things in store for us. I look forward to sharing more information with you this year about how you are making a difference in supporting patients and saving lives.
CEO, Cancer Council Victoria