A couple of weeks ago Cancer Australia, a leading Federal Government institution released a report* on cancer research funding and I found it so interesting that I wanted to share a few snippets with you:
- The actual number of new cancer cases in Australia has more than doubled from 1982 to 2009. Survival has increased for some cancers but not for others, such as gynaecological cancers.
- Overall cancer five-year survival (all cancers) has increased from 46.9% (1982 – 1987) to 66.1% (2006 – 2010), particularly in some cancer types that received sufficient research funds.
- Overall funding to cancer research in Australia has increased from $229 M (2003 – 2005) to $596 M (2009 – 2011) Australian Government sources fund two-thirds of all cancer research.
- While Queensland constitutes 20% of Australia’s population, only 16% of total research funding was allocated to Queensland cancer research institutions. That is $38 per person in Queensland, compared to $78 per person in Victoria and $42 per person in NSW.
Considering the incidence, survival and disease burden of breast cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer and leukaemia, research activities focusing on these cancers are well off (“over-funded”). By contrast gynaecological cancer research is at the bottom end of the government funding ladder.
For me the whole approach to Woman’s Cancer is off the mark. We are still not listened to by the medical profession when we have symptoms and rather than do a few simple tests they would rather tell us we are fat and premenopausal, which leads to the cancers growing rather than being caught early.
My advice is to trust your own instincts, insist on being tested if you think there is something wrong, even if you secretly don’t want to know. Remember you are responsible for your own body and stick up for yourself.