2016 federal election submission for breast cancer strategyMay 18th, 2016
NBCF and Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) have delivered a joint submission to the two major parties contesting the 2016 federal election, calling for the development of a national cancer strategy in response to the increasing incidence of cancer in Australia.
There have been significant successes and promising discoveries in breast cancer that are or will be game-changing for patient care and survival. Yet it’s far too soon to declare victory. Research has brought us this far, but the job is not done and more knowledge is needed on this complex disease.
Investment in research has the potential to make breast cancer the first cancer that no one need die from. Understanding how breast cancer kills will enable new effective treatments to be developed, many of which could be applied other types of cancer, saving further lives.
However, we need to understand why women and men are still dying from breast cancer so investment in research can be targeted towards preventing deaths from the disease. This is an ambitious and worthy goal, however the information to underpin funding decisions to ensure fastest, safest and most cost-efficient path to achieving it are difficult to access.
In relation to research investment, NBCF has requested commitment from both major parties on the following:
- Researchers need databases and unified platforms to gather quality information to underpin their research and results. Currently, a considerable amount of financial resources from non-government bodies including NBCF is dedicated to fund tissue banks and databases, diverting limited funds from essential research. We recommend the government supports and streamlines information and data to make it more accessible, usable, better in quality, comparable, etc.
- Broader access to health resources for breast cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment is an area for which the government should take responsibility, so funds can be directed to priority areas of research.
- Funding is needed for a gap analysis to understand why women and men are still dying – where, why, how – providing the missing knowledge about which women and men are still dying from breast cancer. This information is vital for ensuring research funds are directed toward accelerating discoveries that will solve the clinical challenges and close the survival gap.
It’s important that we continue to collaborate with our peers in breast cancer research, care and treatment so that women and men affected by the disease have the best outcomes possible.
Read the submission here: A better journey for all Australians affected by cancer