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  • Rare cancer survival still low

    Author: AAP

Newly released Victorian cancer data shows survival rates for some cancers have barely improved over the past 20 years.

Victorians diagnosed with rare cancers still face the same grim prognosis they would have 20 years ago.

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Cancer Council Victoria says significant improvements have been made to the survival rate of cancer overall, but new data from the state's cancer registry shows the survival rate for some cancers remains as low as five per cent.

Chief executive Todd Harper says investment is needed for long-term research that focuses on high mortality cancers such as those that affect the pancreas, brain and ovary.

According to the Cancer Council, the five-year survival rate for a person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer is six per cent, up only three per cent on the survival rate 20 years ago.


By comparison, the five year survival rate of all cancers has increased from 47 per cent to 66 per cent over the same period.

The organisation is calling on the state's major parties to make cancer survival a priority and commit to $57.5 million investment over five years, with an initial investment of $2.75 million in 2015/2016.

"We won't change this situation overnight," Mr Harper said.

"It is going to take a significant investment over the long haul, as well as genuine collaboration between research bodies - but I believe we can turn around such poor survival outcomes," Mr Harper said.

The Cancer Council has released a list of Victorian election priorities, including improving access to treatment for regional and rural Victorians and a commitment to bowel screening.

It also wants campaigns that inform the public about the link between cancer and smoking, obesity, sun exposure and alcohol.

Copyright AAP 2014


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