Featured Health Reform

Regional Australia Missing Out On Cancer Treatment

Did you know that people with cancer in regional areas are up to 35% more likely to die within 5 years of diagnosis than patients in the city?

Greater access to radiation therapy services could help improve that statistic, and one of the key barriers to accessing radiation therapy is distance from a treatment centre – if you happen to live in Geraldton, WA, for example, it’s over four hours travel to the nearest centre.

Invest in this:

The Radiation Therapy for Regional Australia campaign was launched in Newcastle this week, calling on the Federal Government and Opposition to invest in radiation therapy for regional Australia and address the clear under-use of radiation therapy across the country generally.

According to Associate Professor Peter O’Brien from the University of Newcastle, “Australia is lagging well behind Europe and North America in radiation therapy utilisation, and the Federal Government and Opposition must take action.”

How does Australia compare?

In Australia, radiation therapy is underused in the fight against cancer. In Europe and North America, 1 in 2 cancer patients receives it as part of their treatment, here it is only 1 in 3.

The campaign was launched by the Radiation Therapy Advisory Group, a group formed in 2017, comprising of expert individuals and organisations dedicated to raising the profile of radiation therapy and ensuring it is adequately funded by government.

The group has previously published a cost benefit analysis of radiation therapy as compared to other forms of treatment and found that radiation therapy results in significantly fewer out of pocket costs for patients than surgery.

Let’s give all Australians a better chance at beating cancer – join the campaign here: http://www.radiationtherapy.org.au/ & here: https://www.facebook.com/regionalradiationtherapy/

The problem of distance in accessing radiation therapy

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