The lack of focus and funding directed to brain cancer is an injustice that needs to be addressed. In order to quickly give people with brain cancer the same shot at survival as other cancers (thereby necessitating a doubling in survival) the Government needs to provide dedicated focus with clear survival milestones. This must happen alongside significantly increased funding into the brain cancer research system.
The current prognosis for people diagnosed with brain cancer is inequitable and unacceptable. The five-year survival rate for brain cancer is approximately 20 per cent and has barely shifted in more than 30 years, while other cancers have seen significant increases in survival due to dedicated focus and funding. People with brain cancer deserve an equal shot.
Barrie Littlefield, Head of Engagement at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation said, “The large increases in survival seen by cancers that have received dedicated Government focus and funding is clear. This now needs to be replicated with brain cancer”.
Brain cancer research funding from Government is comparatively low, and current research relies heavily on the generosity of donors and philanthropists - a variable income stream. Focus and funding for brain cancer research is neither sufficient, nor organised well enough, to quickly double survival, which must now change.
Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is calling for this to be addressed in its submission to the Senate Select Committee into Funding for Low Survival Cancers, the deadline for which is 31 March, 2017. Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s submission will highlight the need for:
- the removal of, or compensation for, structural bias in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) process, which inadvertently disadvantages brain, and other rare cancers
- provision of long term support and stability for brain cancer researchers to ensure a clear and more secure career path
- reimbursement of diagnostics, treatments and procedures to facilitate the highest levels of care
“Cure Brain Cancer Foundation has known for many years that the Government cancer funding system in Australia does not give brain cancer research an equal shot at success” said Barrie Littlefield. “We will continue to fund world-class research thanks to the generosity of our community, but it is time for the Government to step up and plug the gaps that we simply cannot afford to fill”.
Anyone impacted by brain cancer is encouraged to make a submission to the Senate Select Committee.
It does not have to be long, the submission just needs to reflect personal experience and the changes you would like to see. Now is the time to have your voice heard, and help give people with brain cancer an equal shot at survival.
For more information on what makes a good submission, and how to upload/post it, go to curebraincancer.org.au/senate.
Make a submission to the Senate Select Committee