Budget cuts threatens prostate cancer research progress
Wednesday 13th April 2011: Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) is calling on the Federal Government to reconsider reported proposed budget cuts of $400 million to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). PCFA is deeply concerned the anticipated cuts will have a devastating impact on the progress of much-needed prostate cancer research.
PCFA and its committees are alarmed that the slashing of research funds
will result in the loss of highly valued Australian research talent overseas;
the cessation of vital research projects that demonstrate strong potential for
the future and a delay in urgently-needed advances in the diagnosis and treatment
of prostate cancer, as well as other illnesses that have a significant impact
on Australia’s health and economy.
In 2010, PCFA’s Research Program,
made possible thanks to the generous support of Movember, distributed $7.7
million to Australia’s most promising prostate cancer researchers, dedicated to
making significant advances in the cause, diagnosis, treatment and prevention
of prostate cancer.
Dr Anthony Lowe, Chief Executive
of PCFA, says the prevalence and mortality rates of prostate cancer in Australia dictate
that we need to be maintaining or in fact, increasing funds for medical
“The fact that around 3,300
Australian men still die of prostate cancer each year is tragic and
unacceptable. We have very dedicated and talented prostate cancer researchers
who may well be moving closer to discovering more accurate prostate cancer
indicators and more effective treatments. If the Federal Government takes the
decision to decrease funding for medical research, how is it possible for this
vital, life-saving research to move forward?” said Dr Lowe.
“If an increase in research
funding is ruled out, then an effort should be made to at least maintain the
current funding levels to prevent promising research projects coming to a standstill,
or being taken overseas.”
PROSTATE CANCER IN AUSTRALIA
to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare1:
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers);
- Prostate cancer is the second highest cause of cancer deaths in Australian men;
- As many men lose their life to prostate cancer each year as women who lose their life to breast cancer.
For more information about the Prostate Cancer Foundation of
Australia go to www.prostate.org.au or call toll-free
1800 22 00 99.
more information, please contact Karina Candia (0402 307 056) at Palin
Communications on 02 9412 2255
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) Cancer in Australia: an overview, 2008. AIHW Cat. No. CAN 42.