Future state of cancer control

Australia’s health system is strong and survival rates for most cancers are among the best in the world. Despite this success, cancer outcomes are not equal for all Australians. Changing the status quo will require significant, sustained effort, and the Australian Cancer Plan (the Plan) will be the way to achieve it.

The future of cancer control in Australia is one where world-class cancer outcomes and experiences are within reach for all Australians.

The Plan builds on what Australia is already doing well and outlines bold ambitions to guide reform in cancer control over the next decade.

This Plan for national action calls out and addresses system level opportunities that through collaboration and coordination will enable us to shift the dial on inequities in cancer control.

The future of cancer care in Australia is both optimal and equitable; it will deliver high quality and fair outcomes for all. Everyone with a cancer diagnosis will experience their care free from discrimination. They will engage with and be served by a system that respects them personally, including their culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, health status, and education level.

Achieving equity in cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is the most significant ambition for the future of cancer care. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will experience culturally safe and respectful care, free from individual and institutional racism.

The Plan will support the objective of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap[8](CtG Agreement) to enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and governments to work together to overcome the inequality experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and achieve life outcomes equal to all Australians. 

People living with cancer and their carers will be partners in, and at the centre of their own care, supported to smoothly navigate a health system in which services will be well-connected and accessible, wherever they may be in their cancer journey and wherever they live in Australia.

Cancer prevention and early detection will be significantly improved as all Australians become more aware of their personal risks. All Australians will be able to access and feel safe to take part in cancer screening and other prevention and risk modifying activities, including through new technologies and healthy lifestyles.

The best available health intelligence from research, clinical trials, and meaningful, connected data will guide how care is delivered. Cancer care will be provided by supported, engaged, and well-equipped health professionals in all the places where people with cancer receive their care, including from their own homes or via portable devices.

Collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and the very best quality cancer care will be maximised by an Australian Comprehensive Cancer Network (ACCN) which will link the Comprehensive Cancer Centres in major cities and extend that network to the rural and remote regions of Australia. Health services and a cancer workforce that is highly trained, responsive, and culturally aware will deliver optimal cancer care.

The Plan is a timely and significant step forward in cancer control. To achieve its vision of world-class cancer outcomes and experiences for all Australians, implementation of the Plan will be underpinned by vibrant and productive partnerships between Government and all elements of the health sector, including Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, non-government organisations, researchers, clinicians, health services, and consumers. These meaningful partnerships will be critical to achieving the vision of the Plan.

The Plan sets a national agenda to accelerate world-class cancer outcomes and improve the lives of all Australians affected by cancer. This Plan leverages existing national and jurisdictional cancer plans, including the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Plan developed by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO).

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