Plan to control the disease that has become the ‘c’ word

IT IS predicted that by the end of this year 46,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer.

The Cancer Institute NSW says it is expected that by 2021 this number will increase to more than 53,000 new cancer diagnoses each year.

A new statewide cancer control plan has been launched by the Cancer Institute NSW, to address the growing burden of cancer in NSW.

The NSW Cancer Plan sets out the state's blueprint for reducing the incidence of cancer; increasing survival and improving the quality of life, treatment and care for people affected by the disease.

NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow, said, "NSW is already at the forefront of cancer control globally. If you live in NSW your chances of surviving cancer are among the highest in the world.

"But we are living longer, and with an ageing population the burden of cancer is set to increase.

"This strategic plan offers us a chance to work together to change these statistics, and ensure NSW continues to be one of the best cancer care systems in the world."

Working together to lessen impact

The plan sets out how government, non-government organisations, health professionals and the broader community will work together to lessen the impact of cancer on the people of NSW.

More than 1,000 individuals from across NSW collaborated in the development of the plan, from health professionals to people with cancer and their families.

"The result is a comprehensive plan that sees health organisations from across NSW committing to delivering strategies and services that will improve cancer outcomes for individuals and the state," Professor Currow said.

Action plans

Actions in the plan include a focus on priority communities that are more heavily burdened by the disease.

"We know that many people from Aboriginal and multicultural communities experience poorer cancer outcomes. The needs of these communities are specifically addressed by this plan," Professor Currow continued.

Also included are actions to address cancers where survival rates remain low.

"If we look at cancers like lung, bowel or primary liver cancers, we know that if we apply the knowledge we have today into practice across the health system, we can make significant and immediate improvements in outcomes for these cancers." Professor Currow said.

The impact of the new NSW Cancer Plan will be measured by a cycle of annual public reporting, to ensure accountability on the strategies detailed in the plan. 

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