A united front on our national cancer
Throughout 2011, the Cancer Institute NSW has been at the forefront of developing – for the first time – a comprehensive skin cancer prevention strategy for the State.
The draft NSW Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy 2012-15
is now nearing the end of a wide-randing consultation process,
designed to ensure skin cancer prevention is elevated on the agenda
in a range of sectors, settings and target
populations throughout NSW.
Skin cancer accounts for 81 per cent of all new cases of cancer
diagnosed in Australia each year, making skin cancer both the most
common and the most costly cancer in Australia.
Skin cancer is our national cancer - and
it must be tackled by a united front
As a major project of the NSW Cancer Plan
2011-15, the process of developing the NSW Skin Cancer
Prevention Strategy 2012-15 has taken place over the past nine
months through a series of consultation phases. Key stakeholders in
a range of settings have been consulted in the production of the
Strategy and have been asked to contribute to its
implementation. On 21 October 2011, the Minister for Health
and Minister for Medical Research, the Hon. Jillian Skinner,
announced the release of the draft Strategy for public
consultation. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
In the Strategy, we emphasise the importance of
building effective partnerships between Government, non-government
organisations, industry, community groups and individuals to
instigate a truly across-the-board, comprehensive approach to
reducing skin cancer throughout NSW. Aptly put by Cancer
Institute NSW CEO, Professor David Currow "skin cancer is our
national cancer - and it must be tackled by a united front".
To provide the supporting infrastructure for this united front
against skin cancer in NSW, the Cancer Institute NSW has
established the NSW Skin Cancer Prevention Advisory Committee,
chaired by Professor Bruce Armstrong. The inaugural meeting of the
Advisory Committee was held on 14 December 2011, bringing together
representatives from a range of organisations and sectors
including NSW Ministry of Health, Department of Education and
Communities, WorkCover NSW, Department of Premier & Cabinet,
Cancer Council NSW, General Practice NSW, Australian Centre for
Agricultural Health & Safety, Surf Life Saving NSW and the
Melanoma Institute Australia. Future meetings will include
representatives from sport and recreation as well the
Local Governments and Shires Association.
In his welcome speech, Professor David Currow noted that the
Committee's broad representation is designed to both reduce
differential health outcomes across the population and deliver
sustained change and improvement in terms of both policy and
behavioural change. He also noted an exciting opportunity presented
by the Committee - to provide a real and sustained focus on skin
cancer and expert advice on the things that can make a real
difference in skin cancer prevention and early recognition in
NSW over the next four years and beyond.
We anticipate the public release of the NSW Skin Cancer
Prevention Strategy 2012-15 by the end of March 2012.