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Media Release

New resources to help people with rare and less common cancers

March 17, 2021

Cancer Council Develops Resources for Rare and Less Common Cancers

The 52,000 Australians affected by rare and less common cancers will now have more information available to them after Cancer Council developed a suite of guides and fact sheets to support people affected by these cancers.

The resources include nine fact sheets on 10 specific less common cancer types and a booklet, Understanding Rare and Less Common Cancers, to provide information and resources to help patients and carers on their cancer journey.

Tanya Buchanan, CEO of Cancer Council Australia explained the collective impact of these rare and less common cancers.

“Being diagnosed with a rare or less common cancer can be incredibly isolating and we know that many people struggle to find information specific to their cancer type, which can add to the distress of a diagnosis.

“While only a handful of people may be diagnosed with a rare cancer each year, collectively 52,000 Australians are diagnosed with rare or less common cancers each year.

“These rare and less common cancers account for 30% of all cancers diagnosed and 50% of all cancer deaths so we need to acknowledge the true impact of these cancers and ensure that adequate resources are available to provide people with the information that they need.”

Each guide includes information about symptoms, treatment, diagnosis and side effects for patients while the booklet has been prepared to help people understand more about rare and less common cancers.

They offer suggestions for coping with a diagnosis; making treatment decisions; coping before, during and after treatment; as well as providing information and support services.

“Cancer Council is the only charity in Australia to work across every cancer type so we hope that by providing these guides we will be able to give patients and their carers patients reassurance and information when they need it most.

“We would also encourage medical practitioners working with people who have these rare and less common cancers to let their patients know these resources are available for them,” Ms Buchanan said.

The facts sheets have been developed for cancer types including soft tissue sarcoma, neuroendocrine tumours, appendix cancer, small bowel cancer, upper tract urothelial carcinoma, gall bladder cancer, penile cancer and ocular melanoma.

The resources were developed in consultation with Rare Cancers Australia, Cancer Voices Australia, Neuroendocrine Cancer Australia and Walter Elizabeth Hall Institute of Medical Research.

The resources can be found at and Cancer Council’s information and support line is available on 13 11 20.

Media Enquiries
Please contact Tegan Brown in the Cancer Council Australia media team on (02) 8256 4109 or email [email protected]
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