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28
Nov
2017

Probe into low survival cancers applauded for suite of recommendations to improve brain cancer survival

 

The report contains 25 recommendations to improve outcomes for patients with low survival rate cancers, such as better access to clinical trials, improvements to trial design, and more access to care coordinators or nurses in every state and territory.

Barrie Littlefield, Head of Engagement at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation said the report validated Cure Brain Cancer Foundations calls for increased focus and funding for brain cancer research.

“We applaud the Senate Select Committee for listening, and delivering a report that outlines a comprehensive 25-point plan to benefit people impacted by brain cancer and other low survival cancers.” 

Just a year ago brain cancer had been described as a ‘forgotten cancer’, but today’s report is further confirmation that brain cancer is now a national health priority, and follows the creation of the Australian Brain Cancer Mission in October. 

This initiative delivered much of what Cure Brain Cancer Foundation had called for during this Senate inquiry, including a fairer share of focus and funding for brain cancer, along with a national plan to double brain cancer survival in ten years. 

The Committee’s findings were handed down in Canberra by Tasmanian Senator, Catryna Bilyk, following a year of emotional submissions, public hearings and debates in which the disease took centre stage and the brain cancer community finally had its voice heard in Parliament. 

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation also called 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

Barrie Littlefield, Head of Engagement at Cure Brain Cancer Foundation said, “Cure Brain Cancer Foundation applauds Senator Bilyk for chairing this important probe into low survival cancers, which had a big focus on brain cancer. 

“We have been calling long and hard for brain cancer to receive more focus and funding and were a major driving force behind a Government-backed $100 million national plan to double brain cancer survival in ten years.

“Improving brain cancer survival is now a national health priority. But, this report shows people with brain cancer face many other challenges such as quality of life and access to clinical trials.

“While we need time to digest the full report, we support the key themes that are coming through and look forward to working collaboratively with relevant parties to bring these to reality.” 

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s advocacy campaigns played a key role in the establishment of the enquiry, and the Foundation’s awareness drive was responsible for almost 300 submissions, detailing emotional experiences of this brutal disease. 

The outcomes announced today display the value of strong, sustained advocacy and awareness campaigns, as well as the power of working collaboratively and not competing to create real change for people impacted by brain cancer.

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation would like to thank all who played their part in this process, particularly the brain cancer community who have put their stories on record, often in heart-breaking circumstances. Special recognition must also go to committee Chair, Senator Bilyk, who has played a huge role in ensuring brain cancer is firmly on the public agenda.

The full suite of recommendations contained in the Senate Report can be found here.