Cancer is the leading cause of premature death and disability in Australia, with one in three men and one in four women being diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Health and Ageing, Senator Brett Mason, said today at a function for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at Parliament House.
“The most commonly detected cancers are prostate cancer in males (11,191 cases in 2001) and breast cancer in females (11,791 cases in 2001). Cancer accounts for 31 per cent of male deaths and 26 per cent of female deaths in Australia each year,” Senator Mason said.Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is one of Cancer Council Australia’s most popular fundraising events and has raised almost $40 million since it began in 1994.More than a million people are expected to ‘raise a cup’ this year in the hope of raising about $8 million for cancer research and the council’s information and support services.Senator Brett Mason congratulated the Cancer Council of Australia for all its hard work over the years and wished it well this year.Senator Mason said to help reduce the burden of cancer the Australian Government was doing its part and had committed more than $189.4 million over the five years to 2008-09 through the Strengthening Cancer Care initiative.This initiative invests in the better coordination of cancer services, including the establishment of Cancer Australia (in May last year), enhanced prevention programs, support for those living with cancer, support for health professionals and research.”Thanks to advances in our knowledge about prevention, early detection and treatment, more than half of those diagnosed with cancer today will be effectively treated,” Senator Mason said.Cancer survival rates in Australia are among the highest in the world, second only to the United States of America. More than 80 per cent of people diagnosed with the most common cancers are alive five years later.(Source : Department of Health and Ageing, Australia : May 2007.)