Research shows that South Australians are more likely to die within five years of a cancer diagnosis the further they live from the city.
The research, undertaken by Professor David Roder AM from the University of South Australia, highlights the huge gap in outcomes between those living in regional and remote South Australia and their metro counterparts.
Cancer Council SA Board Chair The Hon Karlene Maywald says the cancer burden for regional South Australians is a huge concern.
“We know that the cost of travel and accommodation in the city, combined with the extra pressure it can place on families, means many regional South Australians may end their treatment prematurely, which can have detrimental impacts on their chance of survival.”
According to the Australian Cancer Atlas, regional South Australians are losing their lives due to cancer at a higher rate than the Australian average. In the Port Lincoln area, the excess cancer death rate is 32 per cent above the Australian average. In the Waikerie area, it’s 13 per cent higher and in Port Augusta, it’s eight per cent higher.
Cancer Council SA’s new fundraising campaign, which launches today, will help raise vital funds to support the organisation’s new integrated cancer building at 202 Greenhill Road Eastwood and give every South Australian impacted by cancer every chance to survive their diagnosis.
The visionary new project, which is supported by a $10million grant from the State Government, will combine cancer research, prevention and support services alongside 120 rooms of supportive accommodation for regional and remote South Australians travelling to Adelaide for cancer treatment.
Ms Maywald says that having all of Cancer Council SA’s services and supports under one roof will ensure that every South Australian, regardless of where they live, or where they are in their cancer experience, has the best chance of survival.
“We know that having somewhere to stay helps relieve the financial burden faced by regional South Australians travelling to Adelaide for cancer treatment.”
“Through providing state of the art accommodation alongside our full range of services and supports, all under one roof, we are ensuring that not only regional South Australians, but all South Australians impacted by cancer have every chance to survive their diagnosis,” she said.
The campaign will enable South Australians to show their support by purchasing items and equipment to fit out the new building.
From microwaves for regional guests to heat up a meal after a long day of treatment, to chairs for Cancer Council 13 11 20 nurses to sit on to provide vital information and support, every product will make a difference to the lives of South Australians impacted by cancer.
“Through purchasing a product or making a donation, you can help us fill our new building with essential equipment that will create a home away from home for all South Australians impacted by cancer for generations to come,” she said.
Nancy Murdock from Berri knows all too well just how important support is for regional South Australians impacted by cancer. Nancy has survived breast, kidney and colon cancer and has also watched countless family members undergo treatment. She says that without Cancer Council’s supportive accommodation, she wouldn’t be here today.
“To me, having somewhere to stay during treatment meant life or death. We had no one in Adelaide to stay with, my daughter was going through university and we had a mortgage and bills to pay,” she said.
“I wouldn’t have been able to pay for accommodation on top of everything else, and if I didn’t have somewhere to stay, then I wouldn’t have been able to have the treatment that saved my life.”
For more information on Cancer Council’s new building or to show your support visit 202greenhill.com.au.
The campaign TVC can be viewed online here (15 second) and here (30 second).