Mapping future of cancer care in NSW

More than 500 health professionals, researchers and patient advocates have come together for the 2023 Cancer Innovations Conference in Sydney to discuss the complex challenges facing the cancer healthcare sector and how patient outcomes can be improved.

NSW Health Minister Ryan Park spoke at today’s conference and said while cancer outcomes in NSW are among the best in the world, some communities continue to experience poorer outcomes. 

“Despite the enormous gains we have made, cancer remains the leading cause of death by disease in children and adults and accounts for almost a third of all deaths in NSW,” Mr Park said.

“We know cancer screening rates and outcomes are even poorer amongst Aboriginal and multicultural communities and we need to do everything possible to change this. 

“In NSW we’re committed to bringing the best and brightest minds together to solve our biggest problems – we know the people in the room today can help drive important change and build on the work of the NSW Cancer Plan.”  

NSW Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of Cancer Institute NSW Professor Tracey O’Brien said the burden of cancer is significant and is expected to increase. 

“Cancer diagnoses have increased 67 per cent over the last 20 years and this is expected to increase a further 22 per cent between 2021-2031,” Professor O’Brien said. 

“With one in every two people set to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, every person in NSW is touched by cancer in some way.

“Aside from the health impacts of cancer, the fear and trauma of a diagnosis affects the whole family and community and that impact is often long lasting. 

“We need to do more to not only save lives but build healthy, strong communities, and this conference is one way we are hoping to really unpack the challenges and opportunities ahead and motivate, connect and inspire people working in cancer care and research.” 

This year’s Cancer Innovations Conference showcased a dynamic program of panel discussions and presentations, including a keynote address on cancer inequities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from Professor Gail Garvey, Professor of Indigenous Health Research at The University of QLD. 

The NSW Government invests around $175 million each year, through the Cancer Institute NSW, to improve cancer care in NSW and lessen the impact of cancer for people across the state.

More information, including an event program, is available on the Cancer Innovations Conference website.

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