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Find out the latest news at Cancer Council Australia:
- Cancer Council aims to keep teens cool with 2013 eftpos Giveback donation
- Postdoctoral Fellowship for Training in Cancer Research 2014-2015
- Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Sarcoma
- Cancer Council publishes new SunSmart position statements
- Genetic breast cancer risk
- New position statement on alternative and complementary therapies
- New consumer website for cancer patients
- Boys join national HPV vaccination program
- Raising awareness of FOBT
- New cancer research grants announced
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/
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.
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:
- multidisciplinary treatment
- chemotherapy (systemic therapies)
- 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.
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
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:
- Genetic testing for cancer
- Cancer Genetics Education Resource Directory
- About breast cancer
- Early detection of breast cancer
- Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Cancer Australia, the federal government cancer agency, in collaboration with the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia, has launched a new online consumer resource for cancer patients participating in cancer research and trials.
The Consumer Learning website contains short online learning modules and video presentations to guide consumers through the clinical trial and research process. It includes information on the consumer’s role in clinical trials, how research is formulated and an overview of the Cancer Cooperative Trials Groups in Australia.
Cancer Australia also launched a Consumer Involvement Toolkit, designed to support CEOs, managers, health professionals, researchers and policy makers to effectively involve consumers in their organisation’s work.
Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has launched the world’s first National Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Immunisation program for boys.
From February 2013, males aged 12-13 years will receive the HPV vaccine at school on an ongoing basis. Males aged 14-15 years will also receive the vaccine as part of a catch-up program until the end of the 2014 school year.
In July 2012 the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing announced $21 million in funding over four years to extend the HPV immunisation program to boys from 2013.
Females ages 12-13 years will continue to receive the vaccine at school.
Gardasil, the vaccine used in the national program, protects against four types of HPV that are pre-cursers to some cancers, in particular cervical cancer, as well as genital warts in men and women.
"The HPV vaccine is the best protection against the HPV virus; a virus that infects four out of five sexually active people at some point in their lives and is linked to cancer and other disease," Ms Plibersek said.
Since the HPV vaccination program started in 2007 there has been a reduction in HPV-related infections in young women and a reduced incidence of genital warts in males and females. There has also been a reduction in pre-cancerous lesions in young women.
Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Ian Olver, said the addition of the HPV vaccine offered specific benefits for men.
"The papillomavirus is responsible for some cancers inside the mouth and throat along with cancers of the genital tract," Professor Olver said. "The vaccine also protect against genital warts, which is a very common sexually transmitted infection."
For more information on HPV, the vaccine and the national program visit www.hpvvaccine.org.au
If you are aged 50 or over, Cancer Council recommends bowel cancer screening every two years using a faecal occult blood test (FOBT), a simple test that can be conducted in the privacy of your home.
We encourage Australians aged 50, 55 and 65 to participate in the government’s free National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. People turning 60 this year will also be invited to join the program from 1 July this year and people turning 70 from 1 July 2015.
For Australians aged 50 and over who are not currently eligible for government program, there are alternatives.
'Let’s Beat Bowel Cancer' and 'Bowel Cancer Australia' have just launched a new initiative www.dipdropdone.org, which offers an online option to purchase an FOBT kit. Kits can also be obtained from many pharmacies and GPs.
Cancer Council will continue to call on the government to accelerate the program’s roll-out to all Australians aged 50 and over, every two years. In the meantime, we welcome efforts to raise awareness of the importance of faecal occult blood testing.
Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek, has announced $10.6 million in new grants for cancer research through the Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme.
The 38 new cancer research projects include two projects jointly funded by Cancer Australia and Cancer Council Australia.
Cancer Australia developed the grant scheme to provide a national approach to the funding of cancer research in identified priority research areas.
The project grants are designed to support research that will have a direct impact on clinical practice, policy and patient outcomes.
Since its inception in 2007, 209 grants totalling $71.8 million have been funded through this scheme.
“It is important that there continues to be targeted investment in cancer research aimed at reducing the impact of the disease and improving the quality of life and outcomes for patients,” Minister Plibersek said.
“Many of the successful recipients are at the forefront of cancer research in this country and their research provides hope for everyone affected by cancer.”
The two projects with Cancer Council Australia co-funding include:
- Michael Friedlander – ICON8: An international multi-stage randomised phase III trial of dose-fractionated chemotherapy compared to standard three-weekly chemotherapy for women with newly diagnosed epithelial ovarian cancer.
- Peter Grimison - Accelerating First-Line Chemotherapy to Improve Cure Rates for Advanced Germ Cell Tumours: An Australian-Led, International Randomised Trial.
For more information on the grants and the Priority-driven Collaborative Research Scheme, visit Cancer Australia.
This page was last updated on: Thursday, August 9, 2012