CANCER Council Queensland will today launch an Australia-first study into cancer survivorship, to benefit millions of Australians expected to survive cancer in their lifetime.
The Survivor Study is the first of its kind nationally, assessing the emotional, physical and practical concerns of cancer survivors in order to develop specialised support for those affected.
Around 24,000 Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer this year alone. More than 180,000 Queenslanders are alive today after a diagnosis of cancer in the past 25 years.
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Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the study was a crucial tool in better understanding how cancer changed people’s lives.
“More people are surviving cancer today than any other time in history – around 66 per cent of Australians are surviving five years after a cancer diagnosis,” Ms Clift said.
“Cancer Council research shows an overall reduction of about 30 per cent in Australian cancer deaths over the past 20 years, due to combined advances in cancer prevention, research and treatment.
“This research will help us identify targeted, specialised support for cancer survivors – not only physically, but emotionally and practically.
“The emotional impact of cancer particularly has largely been overlooked in models of primary care, despite the serious consequences of distress on a patients’ prospects of long-term survival and quality of life.
“Up to one-third of all cancer patients suffer clinically significant distress and few seek help or treatment for that distress.
“It’s vital we hear from cancer survivors, and learn as much as we can about their experiences in order to help them and countless thousands of Australian cancer survivors in the future.”
Cancer Council Queensland is calling on Australians who are aged over 18, have been diagnosed with cancer and completed their treatment, to take part in the online study.
Cancer survivors will help improve the quality of life for all Australians affected by cancer by completing the study at survivorstudy.org.au.
Cancer Council Queensland encourages all Queenslanders affected by cancer-related distress to contact Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20.
For information and referrals to CCQ’s free statewide Cancer Counselling Service, Queenslanders can call Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or visit www.cancerqld.org.au.