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Cancer Council welcomes funding announced today by the Minister for Health and Aged Care for a cancer navigation program that will ensure all Australians affected by any type of cancer have equitable access to support.

“We applaud the Australian Government’s commitment to a first-of-its-kind navigation program that will connect Australians diagnosed with any type of cancer to high quality, trusted information and support at every step.

“When people get cancer information and support when they need it, they have the best chance of following a pathway that supports the delivery of optimal cancer care and coping with treatment, recovery, survivorship or end-of-life care,” said Professor Tanya Buchanan, Cancer Council Australia CEO.

Every year, more than 150,000 Australians are diagnosed with cancer. Fortunately, more than 70% of Australians diagnosed will now survive cancer for five years or more and are enjoying a higher quality of life after cancer.

Professor Buchanan notes that whilst these outcomes are amongst the best in the world, they are not experienced equally by all Australians.

“Cancer is hard, but finding support shouldn’t be. For many people, support during cancer is rarely in one place and knowing where to go, and when, can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, too many people miss out on the high-quality care, treatment and support they need and experience poorer outcomes.”

The Australian Cancer Nursing and Navigation Program will play an integral part in the cancer sector coming together to address such inequity and support the delivery of the newly released Australian Cancer Plan.

The navigation services funded under the Australian Cancer Nursing and Navigation Program will grow and enhance the support provided by Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 information and support service. 13 11 20offers emotional, practical and financial support services and connects people affected by cancer to quality services delivered by other non-government and cancer care organisations. Cancer Council’s support services are free, confidential and available to any person across Australia affected by any cancer type, including family and friends.

“Every year, Cancer Council’s health professionals connect with more than 40,000 Australians who call 13 11 20, to access our free and confidential information and support services. With this funding, we’ll be able to offer more options to make it easier to connect people to tailored support services.”

“We’re looking forward to working with other cancer organisations and healthcare providers to help more people get the support they need sooner, wherever they are in Australia, whatever their cancer experience,” concludes Professor Tanya Buchanan.