Although just 24 people are diagnosed with brain cancer in the far north coast region each year, 17 die from the disease, making it one of the most lethal cancers in Australia. It is also the leading cause of cancer death in young people.
Cancer Council’s Far North Coast Regional Office at Alstonville has called for a national approach to brain cancer research as figures reveal regional gaps on the rates of people who are diagnosed and survive the disease.
Michael Cannon, regional manager from Cancer Council’s Alstonville office said: ‘Brain cancer is one of the most deadly cancers but also the least understood and underfunded in Australia’.
‘Whilst the number of cases is relatively low on the far north coast the survival rate is amongst the lowest of all cancers and we need governments, charities, and research bodies across Australia working together to beat brain cancer.’
Marking Brain Cancer Action Week this week, Cancer Council has revealed a national and regional league table highlighting the discrepancies in figures, depending on which part of NSW people live in.
Nationally, NSW has above-average rates of people diagnosed with brain cancer, but also a lower death rate compared to other states. This is possibly because of better treatment facilities in the state, or may reflect underlying differences in the make-up of negated cases.
Over the last five years, Cancer Council has given $8.6 million to brain cancer research, with some of this funding being raised during Brain Cancer Action Week (6–12 May, 2012). This year, Cancer Council has awarded grants to pioneering research into brain cancer including studies based in New South Wales.
Brain Cancer Action Week is headed by Cancer Council NSW as part of a collaborative movement working with clinicians, Cancer Institute NSW, Grey Matters Committee and Cure for Life Foundation.
The week is supported by high-profile clinicians, scientists and media personalities including: Carrie Bickmore, Julian Huxley, Tom Waterhouse, Kate Waterhouse, Darren Tieste, and Marcella Zemanek.
Information about fundraising events taking place across Australia can be found on the official Brain Cancer Action Week website: www.braincanceraction.com.au.