Among other cancer-control activity, Cancer Council Australia advocates on behalf of people affected by cancer to ensure that issues relating to cancer care get the attention, legislative action and funding they deserve.
Our Supportive Care Committee has developed a number of position statements to support its advocacy goals and to provide information and advice about topical issues of interest to cancer patients and survivors.
State and territory travel and accommodation subsidy schemes
Assistance has been available since 1978 to help subsidise the costs of travel and accommodation for Australians living in rural and remote areas who need cancer specialist treatment not available locally. On the whole, this financial assistance is valuable, but the subsidy schemes aren't working as well as they could be.
This position statement outlines the problems with the state-run schemes and proposes the establishment of a Commonwealth-funded task force to address them.
Medical use of cannabis
The potential benefits of cannabis and cannabinoids (active compounds derived from the cannabis plant) for symptom relief in cancer patients have been subject to a number of government reviews and public debate in recent years.
The majority of available evidence for the therapeutic use of cannabis and cannabinoids addresses their use in relieving the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. The effects of cannabis and cannabinoids can differ significantly with different doses and between individuals, and can vary depending on how cannabis compounds enter the body.
Evidence from randomised controlled trials is required to evaluate the impact of cannabis and cannabinoid products on cancer and side effects of chemotherapy.
This position statement was developed jointly with the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia.
Benefits of healthy diet and physical activity for cancer survivors
More than a quarter of a million Australians have survived cancer. These men and women may be at increased risk of other health problems which could be reduced through lifestyle changes.
This position statement, developed by Cancer Council's Nutrition and Physical Activity Committee, summarises the evidence about the impact of lifestyle factors on quality of life, cancer recurrence and overall survival. It covers body weight, physical activity, diet, diet supplements, alcohol consumption and food safety, and makes recommendations based on this evidence.
Complementary and alternative therapies
The term ‘complementary and alternative therapies’ refers to a diverse group of practices and products not considered part of evidence based, conventional medicine. While complementary therapies are used together with conventional medicine, alternative therapies are used instead of conventional medicine.
There is much controversy and debate about the use of complementary and alternative therapies. This is primarily due to the substantial gap between consumer beliefs around complementary and alternative therapies, and the evidence supporting their safety and effectiveness.
This position statement summarises the evidence for complementary and alternative therapy use for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and offers a series of recommendations for their use.
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