5 May 2012
$50m in new budget funds for cancer will save lives
Cancer Council thanks Rob Oakeshott for vital support
Thousands of Australians will avoid a premature death thanks to $50 million in new funds for bowel cancer screening announced in the lead-up to the federal budget, Cancer Council Australia said today.
Cancer Council CEO Professor Ian Olver commended the Australian Government for allocating an extra $49.7 million to extend bowel cancer screening to Australians turning 60 from next year, 70-year-olds from 2015 then progressively shifting to two-yearly screening of all Australians aged 50 to 74 from 2017-18.
Professor Olver also commended the Member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott, for his vocal support for the screening program’s expansion.
“Rob Oakeshott has been a passionate advocate for the program’s expansion,” he said.
“He will no doubt join Cancer Council in welcoming this vital investment in Australia’s health.
“He has been as determined as us to see bowel cancer screening extended so its lifesaving benefits are shared by more Australians, including taking a public stand in support of our proposal to add 60- and 70-year-olds to the program.
“Those age groups will now be added, supported by a plan to eventually target everyone aged 50 to 74 – and thousands of Australian deaths will be prevented as a result.”
Professor Olver said the current screening program, which had only been available as a one-off test to people turning 50, 55 and 65, had nonetheless picked up 4000 early-stage cancers or precancerous conditions over the past three years.
“So there is great potential for an extended program to pick up thousands more cases, before they become advanced and much harder to treat,” he said.
Professor Olver said Cancer Council Australia would continue to seek Mr Oakeshott’s support for promoting evidence-based policies for reducing the impact of cancer in Australia.
Media contact: Paul Grogan firstname.lastname@example.org