A roadmap to finally count the number of people diagnosed with incurable and life limiting metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is a step closer thanks to the $1.5 million announced Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to fund a cancer data alliance on Saturday 3 February.
Today, we are announcing a $1.5 million investment to better track cancer stages and recurrence data – because the more we know, the better we can help.
Almost two years ago a group of Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) consumer representatives living with metastatic breast cancer told us they feel invisible.
They wanted to be made visible by being counted properly on cancer registries across Australia. Currently this data is not consistently collected across all states and territories.
Last November BCNA launched the roadmap to address the lack of national cancer data for those living with MBC at Parliament House, Canberra.
The roadmap was the result of a roundtable that saw experts from across the sector work towards recommendations to improve Australia’s cancer data, which aligns with one of the priorities of the first Australian Cancer Plan, launched last year.
These recommendations were supported by the late Peta Murphy, MP who stood with BCNA for many years to have people with MBC made visible through national data collection.
“Even in what turned out to be the final week of the late Peta Murphy’s life," said the Prime Minister, "she travelled to Parliament to help launch a new report with Breast Cancer Network Australia calling for a national picture of metastatic cancers.”
BCNA Director Policy Advocacy & Support Services, Vicki Durston also acknowledged everyone who had come together to make this roadmap a reality.
We know that cancer sectors in other countries around the world are watching Australia, this is our chance to build on progress being made and to become a world leader in health data.
This $1.5 million funding to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare will ensure the formation of an Australian Cancer Data Alliance, which will see state and territory cancer registries supported to work towards routinely collecting cancer stage and recurrence data.
“This Federal Government funding will help the sector pioneer the collection of this important data to inform and drive policy, innovation, planning, treatment and care,” Ms Durston said.
"Today we can begin consolidating a way forward for better quality data not just for breast cancer, but for all metastatic cancers."
BCNA has been calling for improvements to Australia’s cancer data since 1998 and will today mark this key milestone alongside all those with a lived experience of cancer and their advocates.
Read BCNA’s report Time to Count People with Metastatic Breast Cancer – A Way Forward
*This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
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