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World Cancer Day 2021 – Supporting Australians living with cancer

Today, on World Cancer Day, the Australian Government recognises the millions of Australians whose lives have been touched by cancer.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Today, on World Cancer Day, the Morrison Government recognises the millions of Australians whose lives have been touched by cancer.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates more than 48,000 Australians died from cancer in 2020. This disease has a devastating impact on individuals, their families, friends, colleagues and classmates.

World Cancer Day encourages the world to unite in the fight against the cancer epidemic, with the message that Together, all our actions matter.

The Morrison Government has invested record funding in cancer research – $6.6 billion over four years from 2020–21 to 2023–24, which supports Australia’s best and brightest medical researchers in their fight against cancer.

In addition, more Australians are benefitting from our commitment to listing new, lifesaving and life-changing cancer treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Recent new listings include

  • From 1 January 2021, Darzalex® (daratumumab) was listed on the PBS in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, as a second-line treatment for patients with multiple myeloma – a cancer of the plasma cells. Around 1,165 patients per year may benefit from this listing. Without PBS subsidy, patients can pay around $160,000 per year for treatment.
  • On the same day, the PBS listing for Tagrisso® (osimertinib) was expanded for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, who have a certain type of mutation in the lungs, known as Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) positive. This expansion resulted in a script that previously cost close to $8,000 reduced to as little as $6.60 per script for about 1,120 patients per year.

All Australians can help combat this disease, and one of the best ways is through cancer screening. Cancer screening can help protect your health through early detection, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Simple screening tests look for particular changes and early signs of cancer before it has developed or before any symptoms emerge.

Each year, more than 7.5 million Australians participate in our free national cancer screening programs for bowel, breast and cervical cancers.

The Government asks Australians to make their health a priority on World Cancer Day. Speak to your healthcare provider today to check if you are due or overdue for screening and visit for more information about our national cancer screening programs.

Through early detection and treatment, routine cancer screening can lessen the impact of cancer on a personal level and a global scale.


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