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Awareness weeks guide

Health Awareness Week

World cancer day

4th of February 2023

World Cancer Day is an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the largest and oldest international cancer organisation dedicated to taking the lead in convening, capacity building and advocacy initiatives that unite the cancer community to reduce the global cancer burden, promote greater equity, and integrate cancer control into the world health and development agenda. Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)





Cancer Australia guidance and information regarding Covid-19

Reports and statistics


Diagnosis and treatment







Diagnosis and treatment

Modern paradigms for prostate cancer detection and management

  • Early detection and management of prostate cancer has evolved over the past decade, with a focus now on harm minimisation and reducing overdiagnosis and overtreatment, given the proven improvements in survival from randomised controlled trials.
  • Multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI) is now an important aspect of the diagnostic pathway in prostate cancer, improving the detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, enabling accurate localisation of appropriate sites to biopsy, and reducing unnecessary biopsies in most patients with normal magnetic resonance imaging scans.
  • Biopsies are now performed transperineally, substantially reducing the risk of post‐procedure sepsis.
  • Australian‐led research has shown that prostate‐specific membrane antigen (PSMA) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) has superior accuracy in the staging of prostate cancer than conventional imaging (CT and whole‐body bone scan).
  • Localised prostate cancer that is low risk (International Society for Urological Pathology [ISUP] grade 1, Gleason score 3 + 3 = 6; and ISUP grade group 2, Gleason score 3 + 4 = 7 with less than 10% pattern 4) can be offered active surveillance, reducing harms from overtreatment.
  • Prostatectomy and definitive radiation remain the gold standard for localised intermediate and high risk disease. However, focal therapy is an emerging experimental treatment modality in Australia in carefully selected patients.
  • The management of advanced prostate cancer treatment has evolved to now include several novel agents both in the metastatic hormone‐sensitive and castration‐resistant disease settings. Multimodal therapy with androgen deprivation therapy, additional systemic therapy and radiotherapy are often recommended.
  • PSMA‐based radioligand therapy has emerged as a treatment option for metastatic castration‐resistant prostate cancer and is currently being evaluated in earlier disease states.

MJA 3 October 2022

Investigating suspected lung cancer
What you need to know

  • Up to a quarter of lung cancers are diagnosed in people who have never smoked
  • Consider chest radiography and urgent specialist referral or advice for unusual presentations that are not explicitly listed in local referral pathways
  • Unexplained haemoptysis warrants urgent referral (within 14 days) for computed tomography imaging
  • Inform patients when you anticipate that negative radiography and/or blood tests might provide insufficient reassurance to exclude lung cancer/other serious illness and advise that further investigations may be needed

BMJ 13 July 2022

Patterns of care for men with prostate cancer: the 45 and Up Study
Men with prostate cancer were twice as likely to have radical prostatectomy as to receive EBRT, and fewer than one in seven had consulted radiation oncologists prior to prostatectomy. The treatment received was influenced by several socio‐demographic factors. Given the treatment‐specific side effects and costs, policies that affect access to different treatments for prostate cancer should be reviewed. MJA 15 March 2021

Skin cancer detection: A review using deep learning techniques
This paper presents a detailed systematic review of deep learning techniques for the early detection of skin cancer. International journal of environmental research and public health 21 May 2021

Margin status and survival outcomes after breast cancer conservation surgery: prospectively registered systematic review and meta-analysis
Involved or close pathological margins after breast conserving surgery for early stage, invasive breast cancer are associated with increased distant recurrence and local recurrence. Surgeons should aim to achieve a minimum clear margin of at least 1 mm. On the basis of current evidence, international guidelines should be revised. BMJ 21 September 2022

Advances in systemic therapy for non-small cell lung cancer
Lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer related mortality worldwide. Despite numerous advances in treatments over the past decade, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) remains an incurable disease for most patients. The optimal treatment for all patients with locally advanced, but surgically resectable, NSCLC contains at least chemoradiation. Trimodality treatment with surgical resection has been a subject of debate for decades. For patients with unresectable or inoperable locally advanced disease, the incorporation of immunotherapy consolidation after chemoradiation has defined a new standard of care. For decades, the standard of care treatment for advanced stage NSCLC included only cytotoxic chemotherapy. However, with the introduction of targeted therapies and immunotherapy, the landscape of treatment has rapidly evolved. This review discusses the integration of these innovative therapies in the management of patients with newly diagnosed NSCLC. BMJ 9 November 2021



Mortality due to cancer treatment delay: systematic review and meta-analysis
Cancer treatment delay is a problem in health systems worldwide. The impact of delay on mortality can now be quantified for prioritisation and modelling. Even a four week delay of cancer treatment is associated with increased mortality across surgical, systemic treatment, and radiotherapy indications for seven cancers. Policies focused on minimising system level delays to cancer treatment initiation could improve population level survival outcomes. BMJ 4 November 2020

Long term risk of distant metastasis in women with non‐metastatic breast cancer and survival after metastasis detection: a population‐based linked health records study
Distant metastases (DM) risk declines with time from diagnosis of non‐metastatic breast cancer, and the annual risk of dying from breast cancer declines with time from initial DM detection. These findings can be used to inform patients at follow‐up about changes in risk over time since diagnosis and for planning health services. MJA 5 September 2022

Changes in five‐year survival for people with acute leukaemia in South Australia, 1980–2016
Five‐year survival for people with acute leukaemia in South Australia continuously improved during 1980–2016, and socio‐economic status and remoteness did not influence survival. It improved markedly for younger patients (under 50 years of age). However, survival is still relatively poor, especially for people over 50 years with AML. MJA 14 March 2022

Cancer Australia consensus statement on COVID‐19 and cancer care: embedding high value changes in practice
The COVID‐19 pandemic has accelerated revision and reform of health care practices and implementation of value‐based care. Health systems and health care professionals have demonstrated a remarkable ability to rapidly adapt or modify care practices to deliver optimal cancer care, while minimising risk of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection and optimising health system resources. A range of strategies has been identified to enhance and embed these high value changes in cancer care during the pandemic and in a post‐pandemic environment. These strategies allow flexibility for jurisdictions, organisations and individuals to address these priorities in ways that suit their local context and workforce capacity. Regular and ongoing review of health care practices, underpinned by clear documentation of changes in practice and learnings, will be critical to maintaining optimal and sustainable value‐based cancer care into the future. MJA 25 October 2021

The influence of the surveillance time interval on the risk of advanced neoplasia after non‐advanced adenoma removal
Increasing the surveillance colonoscopy interval beyond five years after removal of non‐advanced adenoma increases the risk of detection of advanced neoplasia at follow‐up colonoscopy. MJA 30 August 2021

The incidence of childhood cancer in Australia, 1983–2015, and projections to 2035
The incidence rates of several childhood cancer types steadily increased during 1983–2015. Although the reasons for these rises are largely unknown, our findings provide a foundation for health service planning for meeting the needs of children who will be diagnosed with cancer until 2035. MJA 17 February 2020

Estimating the magnitude of cancer overdiagnosis in Australia
About 11 000 cancers in women and 18 000 in men may be overdiagnosed each year. Rates of overdiagnosis need to be reduced and health services should monitor emerging areas of overdiagnosis. MJA 27 January 2020

Second primary cancers in people who had cancer as children: an Australian Childhood Cancer Registry population‐based study
Survivors of childhood cancer remain at increased risk of a second primary cancer well into adulthood. As the late effects of cancer treatment probably contribute to this risk, treatments need to be refined and their toxicity reduced, without reducing their benefit for survival. MJA 20 January 2020

Human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical cancer risk
Clear evidence from both randomized trials and population based studies shows that vaccination against human papillomavirus reduces the incidence of cervical pre-cancer. The near elimination of cervical cancer is achievable through increased uptake of human papillomavirus vaccination and efforts to increase screening for cervical cancer, especially when enacted to reduce disparities in across the world. BMJ 15 December 2022

Effectiveness of Adjuvant Pembrolizumab vs high-dose Interferon or Ipilimumab for quality-of-life outcomes in patients with resected melanoma: A secondary analysis of the SWOG S1404 randomized clinical trial
The trial results found that treatment with adjuvant pembrolizumab improved quality of life vs treatment with adjuvant ipilimumab or HDI in patients with high-risk resected melanoma. JAMA 23 November 2022

Global burden of prostate cancer attributable to smoking among males in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019
The number of smoking-related prostate cancer deaths and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) continued to increase globally, whereas its age-standardized rates on smoking-related prostate cancer mortality (ASMR) and disability-adjusted life years (ASDR) have been decreasing. This substantial progress is particularly significant in developed regions and vary across geographic regions. Medical strategies to prevent and reduce the burden should be adjusted and implemented based on country-specific disease prevalence. BMC cancer 26 January 2023



The value of clinical breast examination in a breast cancer surveillance program for women with germline BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
Clinical breast examination did not increase the number of breast cancers detected in MRI‐screened women with BRCA1/2 mutations. Removing breast examination from surveillance programs that include MRI may be reasonable for these women. MJA 13 September 2021

The short to medium term benefits of the Australian colorectal cancer screening program
This analysis of Binational Colorectal Cancer Audit (BCCA) data indicates that, in addition to the lower long term mortality associated with the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), short term post‐operative benefits are also evident that should be taken into account when promoting the program. The study reinforces calls to improve participation rates in the national screening program by eligible participants to optimise the value of this critically important initiative. MJA 7 December 2022

Cost-effectiveness of prostate cancer screening using magnetic resonance imaging or standard biopsy based on the STHLM3-MRI study
These results suggest that screening with PSA and MRI with subsequent combined biopsies for prostate cancer has a high probability to be more cost-effective compared with PSA screening using standard biopsy. JAMA 10 November 2022

Perceptions of breast cancer risks among women receiving mammograph screening
In this qualitative study of women of breast cancer screening age, family history was perceived as the primary breast cancer risk factor. Most interviewees did not identify breast density as a risk factor and did not feel confident about actions to mitigate breast cancer risk. Comprehensive education about breast cancer risks and prevention strategies is needed. JAMA 23 January 2023

Global association of COVID-19 pandemic measures with cancer screening: A systematic review and meta-analysis
A summary estimate of the downscaling of cancer screening tests since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic is provided in this systematic review and meta-analysis. This could be associated with an increase in the number of avoidable cancer deaths. Effective interventions are required to restore the capacity of screening services to the prepandemic level. JAMA 7 July 2022



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