Cancer Council Australia

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Find out the latest news at Cancer Council Australia:


No make up selfies for cancer awareness

March 2014

nomakeupselfie  no make up selfie

Cancer Council Australia has been overwhelmed with the public support following the viral #nomakeupselfies for #cancerawareness phenomenon. 

CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said the trend that started in the UK had now well and truly spread to Australia.

“We were delighted that so many Australians contacted us after seeing what was happening in the UK and asked how they could donate locally,” Professor Olver said.

“We’ve received more than 2600 donations, raising more than $47,000 since Friday.

“What started out as an overseas campaign to raise cancer awareness, has resulted in an amazing amount of generous support for Cancer Council from the Australian public. We are very grateful to everyone who ditched their make-up and supported us.

“We are hoping to see some more donations come through in the next few days, so stay tuned.”

Cancer Council is the only Australian charity that works with every aspect of cancer, including cancer support services, research, education, prevention and clinical treatment guidelines.

“Cancer Council represents all cancers,  from common cancers like bowel, breast cancer and lung cancer, through to rarer cancer types such as pancreatic, anal and brain cancers. Because of this we have seen a wide variety of our supporters get behind this campaign.”

Those wishing to donate can visit www.cancer.org.au/donate or text their donation amount (without the $ sign) to 0459 11 44 11.

You can find Cancer Council Australia’s Facebook Page here: www.facebook.com/cancercouncilaustralia.

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Be aware - Cancer Council's new skin cancer identification poster

February 2014

We know all about the benefits of shade, sunnies and sunscreen, but when it comes to identifying potential skin cancers, do you really know what to look out for?

Two in three Australians will develop skin cancer by the age of 75. A simple check every now and then can help you spot any potential skin cancers before they spread. It may even save your life!

Spotting the tell-tale signs is key. Cancer Council Australia has created a new poster you can download and print, to help you identify skin changes that need to be checked by a GP.

Including a guide to self-checks, identifying the three main types of skin cancer and signs of eye damage, the poster is designed to educate all Australians about the harsh effects of the sun. We also give you tips on staying SunSmart – because prevention is always better than cure.

It's easy – download and print out the poster, stick it up at work, at home, your local sporting club ... Or if you are a GP, why not put it in your waiting room to help your patients get to know the warning signs of skin cancer.

Download the poster here

Melanoma poster

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World Cancer Day

January 2014

February 4 is World Cancer Day. This year’s theme is ‘Debunk the myths’ and focuses on dismissing cancer misconceptions, communicating the facts and raising general awareness about cancer prevention and treatment.

If you’ve heard a claim about cancer and want to find out whether it’s true or not, Cancer Council’s iheard website and new iheard mobile phone app are great places to start.

Does stress cause cancer? Is Gumbi Gumbi effective in treating cancer? Can having sex reduce prostate cancer risk? Browse our online database of cancer related rumours and fanciful claims and get the facts about cancer risks, prevention and treatment. If you’ve heard something that we haven’t yet answered, submit your question online and have it reviewed by experts who will provide accurate, evidence-based answers.

This World Cancer Day, separate fact from fiction – debunk the myths and help reduce your cancer risk by getting the facts.

To learn more about World Cancer Day, head to www.worldcancerday.org

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Power tools and asbestos don’t mix - especially at Christmas

December 2013

Power tools are always a popular choice at Christmas for those looking to encourage a loved one to do some DIY around the house, but this year the Cancer Council is encouraging gift givers to add a gift tag that could help avoid any unwanted surprises in the future.

With the hundreds of thousands of homes built between the 1940s and the 1980s using asbestos containing materials, home renovators are the fastest growing category of victims of asbestos related disease.

The gift tag, which can be found at www.cancer.org.au/gifttag will direct the new owner to an online learning package developed by the Cancer Council and WA Department of Health to help DIYers identify and see how to best manage asbestos in home renovation projects.

Terry Slevin, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s Occupational and Environmental Cancer Risk Committee, said the tag shows the recipient that a lot of thought has gone into the gift.

“No one wants anyone to get mesothelioma as a result of a Christmas present. This tag will add peace of mind to Christmas gift giving,” Mr Slevin said.

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Cancer Council aims to keep teens cool with 2013 eftpos Giveback donation

October 2013

Cancer Council has been named as one of two beneficiaries of the 2013 eftpos Giveback donation.

Cancer Council and Diabetes Australia will share in $2 million through the Giveback donation, with Cancer Council funding a new program to build shade structures at selected high schools across the country.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said skin cancer was a continuing threat to all Australians. “Australia has one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world. Two in three Australians get skin cancer by the age of 70 and around 2000 Australians die of skin cancer each year.”

Professor Olver said Cancer Council was excited to be working with eftpos on such an innovative campaign. “By offering more Australian high school students shade protection during their teenage years, we can reduce their risk of developing skin cancer now and later in life.”

Stephanie Rice, Australian Olympian and Cancer Council ambassador, also welcomed the initiative. “There are a lot of great things about growing up in Australia – the sunshine, swimming and the great outdoors. But our lifestyle and weather also means we have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Melanoma is the most common cancer in young people aged 12-24. Thanks to eftpos, we now have the chance to help Aussie teens reduce their skin cancer risk.” 

eftpos CEO, Mr Bruce Mansfield, said Cancer Council, along with Diabetes Australia, led the online poll which showed strong community support for disease prevention, management and medical research. 

 In lead up to Christmas, Australians will be asked to support the eftpos Giveback by pressing CHQ or SAV at the checkout.

 More information at: http://eftposgiveback.com.au/

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Postdoctoral Fellowship for Training in Cancer Research 2014-2015

October 2013

Applications are now open for a postdoctoral fellowship for training in cancer research at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France.

IARC is part of the World Health Organisation. Its mission is to coordinate and conduct research on the causes of human cancer, the mechanisms of carcinogenesis, and to develop scientific strategies for cancer prevention and control.

Applications for a training fellowship in 2014-2015 are welcomed from Australian postdoctoral scientists, who intend to pursue a career in cancer research and wish to complete their training in those aspects of cancer research related to the Agency’s mission and of priority for Cancer Council Australia: to coordinate and conduct both epidemiological and laboratory research into the causes and prevention of cancer.

The Fellowship is tenable at the IARC in Lyon, France working in a research Group. The fellowship is for a period of two years, the second year being subject to satisfactory appraisal. Candidates are required to have finished their doctoral degree within five years of the closing date for application or be in the final phase of completing their doctoral degree (M.D. or Ph.D.).

The fellowship must be taken up by 30 November 2014 and applications must be submitted online by 30 November 2013.

See our Fellowships page for more information.

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Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Sarcoma

September 2013

Cancer Council Australia's latest draft clinical guidelines are now available online for public consultation.

The draft Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Sarcoma have been prepared by the Sarcoma Guilelines Working Party, convened by Cancer Council Australia in collaboration with the Australasian Sarcoma Study Group.

The draft guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations on the management of sarcoma, including:

  • diagnosis
  • multidisciplinary treatment
  • chemotherapy (systemic therapies)
  • radiotherapy
  • follow-up in disease management.

Organisations and individuals are invited to comment on the draft guidelines, which can be found at wiki.cancer.org.au  

Comments can be provided via the wiki's comment facility. Further Information regarding this public consultation can be found here

Closing date: 3 October, 2013.

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Cancer Council publishes new SunSmart position statements

June 2013

Australians can now access the most up-to-date recommendations on sun safety for infants and window tinting with the publishing of two new Cancer Council position statements.

Babies aged 0 – 12 months have sensitive skin that burns easily. Taking into account the scientific and medical evidence available, Cancer Council’s new position statement on sun safety for infants provides an overview of measures that should be taken to protect baby’s skin, while balancing vitamin D requirements.

Cancer Council has also published a position statement on tinting for car and glass windows. While acknowledging that window tinting can block out harmful UV light, the statement outlines that in general, UV radiation through the windows of buildings and cars poses little health risk to people unless they are spending extended periods of time close to windows that receive direct sun. The statement recommends that people who spend long periods of time in a vehicle when the UV index levels are at 3 or above use a combination of sun protection measures, such as long sleeved clothing, sunglasses and sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher. This will ensure occupants are protected both in the vehicle and when they leave it. The statement outlines that the need for window tinting on car and building glass should be considered with regard to the risks to the occupants.

Cancer Council’s SunSmart position statements can be found here

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Genetic breast cancer risk

May 2013

Actress Angelina Jolie’s recent public comments about her decision to undergo a prophylactic (preventive) double mastectomy have attracted worldwide media interest.

Given the prevalence of breast cancer in Australia (14,000 new cases and 2700 deaths a year), there has been significant interest in this country in Ms Jolie’s decision.

Although breast cancer is common in Australia, only 5-10% of cases are linked to known genetic factors.

Prophylactic surgery on the basis of genetic susceptibility to illness is a complex issue and we recommend anyone considering this form of surgery seek expert advice so they can make an informed decision. Women who are concerned about genetic risk of breast cancer should discuss the issue with their doctor. GPs can offer advice on genetic testing and counselling.

The main cause of breast cancer is ageing. Cutting alcohol intake can, however, significantly reduce your risk, as can maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active and eating a balanced diet, particularly for postmenopausal women.

Cancer Council information:

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New position statement on alternative and complementary therapies

March 2013

Cancer Council Australia has published a new position statement on complementary and alternative therapies. The statement considers the evidence, risks and benefits associated with these therapies, and makes considered recommendations for cancer patients and health practitioners.

Complementary medicines (referring to a range of practices and products used together with conventional medicine) and alternative therapies, (used instead of conventional medicine), have been the subject of debate in the media and among  health professionals.

Some of the key recommendations made in the statement include:

  1. Supporting the right of individuals to seek information about complementary and alternative therapies and respecting their decision to use them, provided they are not at risk of being harmed.
  2. Encouraging people with cancer who are considering using non-conventional therapies to make an informed choice. This includes asking questions about the efficacy, risk, contraindications and the cost of the therapy, as well as the qualifications of the practitioner.
  3. Encouraging people with cancer to discuss with their healthcare provider any complementary or alternative therapies they are using or considering using, in order to minimise risk.
  4. Encouraging healthcare providers to routinely discuss the use of complementary and alternative therapies with all cancer patients and survivors, in an open and non-judgemental manner.

The statement also recommends the Therapeutic Goods Association take a more active role in warning consumers about false claims made in relation to the benefits of complementary and alternative medicine and for more scientific studies to examine the safety and efficiency of promising and commonly used complementary and alternative therapies.

You can read the full statement here.

For more information

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This page was last updated on: Thursday, August 9, 2012