Cancer Council Australia

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Noticed something missing from our logo?

June 2018

We've removed the 'A' and 'O' in support of a worthy cause. Australian Red Cross Blood Service needs 25,000 blood donation each week. Are you the #MissingType? Join Cancer Council in support of International Missing Type:


Find out more! #MissingType


Highlighting the best primary care and cancer research in Australia – Symposium 2018

May 2018

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Sanchia Aranda, will be participating at the PC4 2018 Scientific Symposium. Professor Aranda will be part of the session, The Burden of Over-Diagnosis in Primary Care.

The symposium will be held at Darling Harbour, Sydney on Friday 25th May. The symposium will showcase PC4 supported research as well as the best primary care and cancer research from around Australia, covering prevention and early diagnosis, shared care, survivorship and palliative care.

For further information and to register, go to


World Cancer Day 2018: "We Can, I Can"

February 2018

This Sunday, February 4, individuals, organisations and governments around the globe will come together for World Cancer Day.

The day, coordinated by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), is held to raise awareness and education about cancer, and aims to save millions of preventable deaths around the world each year.

The theme of "We Can, I Can" emphasises the need for governments and individuals to take action, focussing on what communities and members of the public can do to help save lives by achieving greater equity in cancer care, and by making cancer a priority at the highest political levels.

According to the UICC, more than 8 million people die of cancer around the world each year. At a local level, Cancer Council research released this week showed that the number of Australians living with and surviving cancer will rise to almost 1.9 million people in 2040 - an increase from 1 in 22 Australians today to 1 in 18 in the next 22 years.

Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council Australia and President of the UICC, said that as our population ages and grows, more Australians will be impacted by cancer as they or someone they love will be affected by cancer. 

"This all shows the growing need for more cancer support, as well as more awareness around prevention, early detection and research," she said.

"We have a lot of work to do when dealing with inequalities in outcome by cancer type and between different demographic groups in our community, and will face more challenges as many older cancer survivors will be living with the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment.

"But there's a lot of good news for Australians too – a global report released last month showed that we're in the top four countries in the world when it comes to cancer survival rates."

Professor Aranda encouraged all Australians to get involved with World Cancer Day.

"Whether you're part of a business, a community organisation, a government department or are acting as an individual, you can visit the World Cancer Day website to find materials and information on how to make your voice heard.

"You can think big, by running your own World Cancer Day campaign, or just simply share the messages on Facebook, Twitter or face to face conversations. Every action has an impact."

Visit to find out more, and to add your voice to the online campaign.


A new era for cervical cancer prevention in Australia

December 2017

Today marks the start of a new, more effective and more sophisticated screening program for cervical cancer prevention in Australia. 

Replacing the two-yearly Pap smear, the new test – which looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) – is required only once every five years, and will help reduce cervical cancer rates and deaths by at least 20%.

Professor Karen Canfell, Chair of the Cancer Screening and Immunisation Committee for Cancer Council Australia, says the program will benefit Australian women in a number of ways.

She explained that while the old Pap smear test identified abnormalities that had already occurred in the cervix, the new test looks for HPV, the cause of almost all cervical cancer cases, before precancerous changes can even develop.

“The new test is more sophisticated in that it allows scientists to look for the virus that, if left untreated, can cause the cell changes that can lead to cervical cancer,” Prof Canfell said.

“By detecting the main precursor to cervical cancer we can help prevent more cancer cases from occurring, and take action sooner.”

Other changes mean that women only need to be tested from the age of 25, compared to the previous recommendation of 18-20 years. Women will be sent an invitation to take part in the program around their 25th birthday.

Women who are overdue for the Pap smear, or due for another test, are encouraged to speak to their doctor about the new program.

While the changes will run in conjunction with the HPV vaccination program offered to teens, Prof Canfell emphasised the need for all women to take part, even those who are immunised against the virus. 

“All eligible women should take part in the cervical screening program,” Prof Canfell said.

“And any woman who experiences any symptoms such as bleeding, pain or discharge should see a GP straightaway, regardless of when their last test was.”

Learn more about the new program at


Cancer Council Australia and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month 2017

September 2017

Cancer Council Australia is recognising Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, held in September every year.

The international awareness month focuses on children’s cancers and highlights the need for further research and improved treatments and outcomes for young patients.

Childhood cancers remain the most common cause of disease-related deaths for children aged 0-14 in Australia. Sadly, it is estimated that 650 Australian children aged 0-14 years were diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

The cancer types that are most common in children are different to those which are most common in adults. Children’s cancers are more often found in faster growing tissues such as blood, bone and bone marrow, lymph, muscles, kidney and liver, and as a result, the most common childhood cancers include leukaemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas, neuroblastoma, soft tissue sarcoma and kidney cancer.

While childhood cancer is devastating for the child, family and community affected by a diagnosis, there is some positive news: data from the Australian Paediatric Cancer Registry, funded and managed by Cancer Council Queensland, shows that the overall childhood cancer survival rate around the country is increasing.

In Queensland, for example, 86 per cent of children (aged 0-19) will now survive at least five years from diagnosis, up from around 70 per cent in 1986. One improvement of note is the five-year survival rate for lymphoid leukaemia: in the late 1980s, the survival rate was around 59%, but today that has risen to around 93%.

Research from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare echoes the positive trend, showing that more children with cancer are surviving than years gone by.

Those who do survive will often face difficulties with physical and mental health issues in the future, further highlighting the need for more research and support for the families affected.

Cancer Council helps families affected by childhood cancers in a variety of ways while continuing to call for more research funding into the area.

Families affected by childhood cancer are welcome to call Cancer Council on 13 11 20 for information and support, and to get further details about how the organisation can help their family.

Other resources include the Talking to Kids About Cancer publication, which is available as an ebook or a downloadable PDF. The guide gives practical, age-appropriate advice for navigating these difficult discussions with children.

Teachers and those who work in schools can also download the Cancer in the School Community publication, which gives tips for assisting conversations about cancer with children from age four through to the teen years.   

Members of the public can call 13 11 20 to order a hard copy of both these publications.


Vale Clive Deverall AM

March 2017

Cancer Council Australia extends its condolences to the family of Clive Deverall AM, who died last weekend after almost two decades’ living with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Clive was a passionate consumer representative on Cancer Council Australia’s Board from 2007 to 2010. For many years prior, he was long-serving CEO of Cancer Council Western Australia, where reforms he led from the late 1970s to the late ’90s continue to be appreciated to this day.

Clive is survived by two sons, a step-son, two grandchildren, a sister and his wife Noreen. Our thoughts are with them; and our thanks, for Clive’s extraordinary contribution to cancer control in Australia.


Supporting World Cancer Day 2017

January 2017

February 4 2017 is World Cancer Day, a global event coordinated by the Union for International Cancer Control.

This year’s international tagline, ‘We Can. I Can.’, focuses on the many things that individuals and groups can do to reduce the burden of cancer across the globe.

With the event this year falling on a Saturday, the focus around the globe will be on supporting the event through sport and raising awareness of how physical activity can help reduce your cancer risk.

In Australia, Cancer Council has been selected as the official charity partner for the HSBC Sydney 7’s, which is being held in Sydney over the World Cancer Day weekend.

The event is part of the international HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and brings people together from around the world.

As well as fundraising at the games by selling programmes, Cancer Council will be using it as an opportunity to remind Australians about how they can cut their cancer risk by taking simple steps like quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, exercising, reducing their alcohol intake, being SunSmart and getting checked.

Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia and President of the Union for International Cancer Control says that many Australians may not realise that one in three Australian cancer cases can be prevented.

"This year it is estimated that around 140,000 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer. However, approximately one third of those cases are caused by preventable lifestyle risk factors. Sporting events provide a great opportunity to bring people together and educate communities about cancer prevention and early detection, as well as show support for those directly affected.

"Regular physical activity is one of the most simple ways individuals can reduce their cancer risk and also helps encourage other healthy lifestyle habits, like maintaining a healthy weight and diet and not smoking. Increasingly evidence suggests exercise also has benefits for cancer survivors and those undergoing treatment."

The Union for International Cancer Control is also encouraging sporting groups and individuals to get behind the event by posting a photo related to sport with the #WeCanICan hashtag.

For more information on local events, how you can support World Cancer Day on social media and the event itself, head to


Vale Professor Umberto Veronesi MD OMRI

November 2016

Oncology surgeon and researcher Umberto Veronesi sadly passed away in Milan this week. Professor Veronesi was a pioneer of modern breast cancer treatment and was widely admired in the global cancer community.

Throughout his life and career he made an extraordinary contribution to cancer control as an oncology surgeon, researcher, director of the Italian National Cancer Institute, founder of the European Institute and Italian Ministry of Health. He also headed up many of the world’s leading cancer agencies including President of the International Union Against Cancer Control, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, Federation of European Cancer Societies and more recently set up the Fondazione Veronesi to promote “Science for Peace”.

He was awarded several prestigious awards throughout his career including “Honoris Causa” in Medicine, Medical Biotechnologies, Agricultural Sciences and Pedagogical Sciences from several universities around the world.

Umberto Veronesi authored more than 790 scientific publications and was a champion for public health campaigning against tobacco, promoting healthy lifestyle and much more.

He was particularly noted for his contribution to modern breast cancer treatment where he pioneered conservative treatments of breast cancer, allowing some women with early breast cancer to forgo mastectomy.

Read Professor Veronesi’s full obituary on Cancer Forum.  


Cancer Council CEO takes on global cancer challenges

November 2016

Sanchia Aranda

Following the conclusion of the World Cancer Congress last week in Paris, Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia has officially stepped into the role of President of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

UICC is the largest and oldest international cancer organisation comprising over 1,000 member organisations in more than 160 countries, including the world’s major cancer societies, ministries of health, treatment and research centres, and patient groups. The organisation is dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the global cancer community to promote greater equity, and to integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda.

The Hon. Nicola Roxon, Chair of Cancer Council Australia’s board says that the new position reflects Professor Aranda’s standing in the global cancer community, having been elected by her international peers.

“Professor Aranda is not only an esteemed nurse-clinician, cancer researcher and administrator but also recognised internationally as a passionate advocate for effective and equitable cancer prevention, support and care.

“Cancer Council Australia is very lucky to have someone who is so highly esteemed in the global cancer community as our CEO.”

Professor Aranda said one of her key priorities in her new role as President of UICC will be promoting cancer control best practice worldwide and encouraging greater collaboration amongst health experts across all disciplines and those tackling other major diseases.

“Cancer is a worldwide epidemic. Its increasing prevalence and the growing number of preventable cases across the world is a real threat.”

“The risk factors for cancer are shared with many other major non-communicable diseases; for instance, tobacco, poor nutrition, physical inactivity and obesity are also risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Health experts need to come together and stop viewing diseases as separate challenges – the goals, strategies and benefits of taking action overlap.”


New recommendations for best practice care in breast cancer

October 2016

Cancer Council Australia has welcomed a new statement on best practice in breast cancer care released today. The new recommendations, published by Cancer Australia, aim is to reduce variations in breast cancer care for women in Australia, ensuring all patients receive best practice care.

"Some patients are not getting the information they need about the options that are right for them. This unwarranted variation in practice has the potential to have an impact on patient outcomes and experience," said Cancer Australia CEO, Professor Helen Zorbas.

The statement identifies 12 key appropriate and inappropriate practices surrounding priority areas from diagnosis to palliative care.

Cancer Council Australia CEO Professor Sanchia Aranda said, "The new Cancer Australia Statement is important in order to consistently provide a high level of care for breast cancer patients, no matter where they are in Australia. The aim is that health professionals are able to ensure their clinical practice aligns with the evidence to provide care appropriate for each patient."

To view the Cancer Australia Statement: influencing best practice in breast cancer, visit


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