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Advocacy for low survival cancers

Thursday 9 April, 2020

Cancer Council Victoria coordinates the  Low Survival Cancers Alliance. This group of 12 community and not-for-profit organisations are advocating for increased research funding into cancers with low survival rates.

We define low survival cancers as those with five-year survival ≤ 50%.

  • In 2019, 35,924 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer and 11,329 died from cancer.
  • Cancers with the lowest survival remain liver (24%), lung (22%), cancer of unknown primary (13%), pancreas (12%) and mesothelioma (7%)
  • Low survival cancers were responsible for approximately half of all cancer deaths in Victoria
  • In 2019, of all Victorians diagnosed with cancer, 1 in 4 were diagnosed with a low survival cancer

The Alliance has made important submissions to the Medical Research Future Fund and the Senate Select Committee into Funding for Research into Cancers with low survival rates, advocating for increased funding into low survival cancers research. Research into low survival cancers received a boost in 2018, with $2.5 million from the Victorian Government and Cancer Council Victoria to investigate cancers with a five-year survival of less than 50%. In 2019 Cancer Council Victoria partnered with Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation to jointly fund vital research into ovarian cancer.

 In 2019 the Alliance contributed to Cancer Council Victoria’s submission to inform the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-24. The plan, launched in 2020, included a commitment to support research focused on low survival cancers.

The Alliance will continue to undertake advocacy initiatives to improve funding for low survival cancers.

For more information about the Alliance please contact

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