The Australian Cancer Plan and Global Cancer Control

Australian Contribution to Global Cancer Control Efforts

Australia has an important role in global cancer control, providing leadership, sharing knowledge and expertise, and developing partnerships. With some of the best cancer outcomes in the world, Australia has much to offer both our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific region, and the global cancer control sector more broadly. Further, to maintain our world leading status, Australia must remain engaged with leading edge cancer control developments internationally.

As the Australian Government’s cancer control agency, Cancer Australia has strong international relationships, enabling expertise and information flows to inform priority areas of work including lung, pancreatic, and cervical cancer, as well as addressing disparities in outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Australia’s global position in cancer control includes membership of the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) Governing Council, the International Cancer Research Partnership (ICRP), the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) World Cancer Leaders’ Summit and the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer (MASCC). Australia also supports efforts in multilateral fora, such as the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2020, Australia led the development of the Global strategy to accelerate the elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem.

Participation in international tumour-specific groups is also important to inform emerging policy development, for example, the Lung Cancer Policy Network (LCPN) and the International Cancer Benchmarking Project (ICBP) – Lung Network. Bilateral relationships with colleagues in New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom, among others, facilitate global collaboration, particularly focusing on addressing disparities in outcomes for First Nations peoples and priority population groups.

Australian Cancer Plan Development in Accordance with World’s Best Practice

The Australian Cancer Plan (the Plan) is Australia’s first national cancer control plan (NCCP). The Plan has the potential to have an impact which extends beyond Australia’s borders.

The 2017 WHO's resolution on cancer control urged all member states to develop and implement NCCPs, emphasising the need for a focus on:

  • equity of access
  • adequate resourcing
  • monitoring and accountability
  • synergising with other national frameworks.[12]

Implementation of the Plan provides a unique opportunity to support global cancer control efforts where Australia continues to partner and demonstrate leadership, driving consumer engagement and highlighting the importance of supportive care, and prioritising culturally safe co-design approaches to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer control.

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