Cancer care in Australia

According to World Health Organization comparisons, Australian cancer patients generally have better cancer survival rates than those in other countries.1 In the last 30 years, the death rate for cancer in Australia (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has dropped by more than 24%.2 This trend is driven by treatment improvements and new interventions leading to more patients surviving from the most commonly diagnosed cancers, including bowel cancer and prostate cancer in males and breast cancer in females.3

And yet, Australia has one of the highest rates of cancer diagnosis internationally,4 with 134,000 new cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2018.2 This number is predicted to rise to 150,000 in 2020,2 due to Australia’s increasingly ageing population.5 Currently, an estimated 1.1 million (1 in 22) Australians are living with and beyond a cancer diagnosis.6 By 2040, it is estimated that 1 in 18 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.6

Healthcare in Australia is largely publicly funded, but cancer patients report relatively high out-of-pocket health costs. The financial costs of cancer in Australia are unequally distributed, as some cancer types are more costly to the individual.7 Those in rural and remote areas often face greater out-of-pocket costs and can have difficulty accessing healthcare services.7

In Australia, cancer has a significant social and economic impact on individuals, families and the broader community. People in lower socioeconomic positions have higher rates of cancer burden, with patients in the lowest socioeconomic group experiencing 1.4 times the cancer burden of those in the highest group.7

All.Can Australia initiative

The All.Can initiative began in Australia in late 2017, and was officially launched on World Cancer Day (4 February) 2018. The patient-focused initiative aims to gather insights from the cancer community and sharpen the focus on delivery of care truly of value to patients. The Australian chapter plans to identify improvements to the cancer patient care pathway through the healthcare system.

The overarching goal for All.Can is to help contribute to sustainable resource allocation in cancer care so that funding is directed to interventions which create the most value for patients. This reflects the global reforms in healthcare that are moving away from volume-based care and focusing on improving patient outcomes.

Activities and milestones

  • Development of a research report that evaluates the Australian cancer care system, providing insight into key stages of the patient journey that might benefit from improvement to create better patient outcomes. The report will establish a baseline understanding of the patient journey at a health system-wide level and identify efficient allocation of resources so that Australian cancer patients receive the most value for care at every point of their journey. The findings are expected to inform future research into the value of cancer care at various stages of the patient journey.
  • Participation in the All.Can global patient survey will establish an evidence base of patients’ insights gained from their personal experience, and help to identify opportunities to reallocate resources to improve patient outcomes and value of care. The Australian cancer community is keen to contribute to global data and obtain new data that capture the experiences of Australian cancer patients. Patient organisations will play a key role in disseminating the survey, which the All.Can Australia Steering Committee will develop in consultation with its global counterparts.

 

 

References

  1. AIHW. Cancer in Australia 2017; ix: 1039-3307. Available here: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-in-australia-2017/ [accessed: February 2018]
  2. Cancer Council Australia. Facts and Figures. Available here: https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/what-is-cancer/facts-and-figures.html [accessed: February 2018]
  3. AIHW. Cancer mortality trends and projections Available here: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/cancer/cancer-mortality-trends-and-projections-2014-to-2025 [accessed: February 2018]
  4. International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization). Worldwide Cancer Incidence. Available here: http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/sites/default/files/cs_infog_world_inc.pdf [accessed: February 2018]
  5. Australian Cancer Research Foundation. Cancer incidence and mortality in Australia. Available here: https://acrf.com.au/on-cancer/cancer-statistics-australia/ [accessed: February 2018]
  6. Cancer Council Australia. Australians living with and beyond cancer in 2040. Available here: https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/resources/2018-01-31-cancer-prevalence-in-2040.pdf [accessed: February 2018]
  7. AIHW. Burden of cancer in Australia: Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011. Available here: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/burden-of-disease/burden-of-cancer-in-australia-australian-burden-of-disease-study-2011/contents/table-of-content [accessed: February 2018]

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Contact

Secretariat: Palin Communications

all-can-australia@palin.com.au

The All.Can Steering Committee is led by representatives from cancer/consumer organisations, biopharmaceutical industry, pharmacists and university faculties.

The aim for All.Can Australia is to reflect the full continuum of cancer care and to have representation that accurately reflects the cancer journey. This is through our Steering Committee representation and the third parties we work with.

All.Can Australia is co-chaired by Professor John Zalcberg and Bill Petch. For full details of the Steering Committee, see below. The Steering Committee has been structured to encourage shared decision-making across all activities and is supported by Palin Communications as secretariat.

Steering Committee

Prof. John Zalcberg

Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Bill Petch

National Asthma Council Australia

Prof. Christobel Saunders

University of Melbourne

James McAdam

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Kristin Michaels

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia

Sue Hegarty

Ovarian Cancer Australia

Nicola Richards

Independent

Plum Stone

Rare Cancers Australia

Ben Harris

Private Healthcare Australia

Kylie Woolcock

Australian Healthcare & Hospitals Association

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Cancer Care Navigator Analysis

Read All.Can Australia’s report on the assessment of the optimal role of cancer care navigators for Australian cancer patients and their families: All.Can Australia – CCN analysis report FINAL.


An Exploration of the Cancer Pathway in Australia

In 2019, All.Can Australia developed a report mapping out the cancer care pathway in Australia through consultations with stakeholders, download All.Can Australia full report here.


Press release: All.Can patient survey findings

 


Video: Common inefficiencies impacting patient outcomes

 


Video: Using new research to improve patient outcomes

Disclaimer:

The All.Can initiative is made up of leading representatives of patient organisations, policymakers, healthcare professionals, science and industry. All the publications produced under the initiative reflect the consensus of All.Can members who have full editorial control.

All.Can Australia is funded by Bristol Myers Squibb Australia, with support from Palin Communications as secretariat.