04 February 2021

Celebrating the extraordinary service of cancer care professionals in supporting patients throughout COVID-19

This World Cancer Day, Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia is celebrating the heroic response of health care professionals around Australia who have supported prostate cancer patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Marking World Cancer Day on 4th February, Prostate Cancer Foundation has thanked the doctors, nurses, specialists, researchers and other cancer care professionals, as well as government agencies, who have worked tirelessly to help Australian men and families affected by prostate cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), the 2021 World Cancer Day theme “I Am and I Will” encapsulates their extraordinary spirit and the strength of the cancer community. Their stories captured throughout the past year are being showcased on the occasion of World Cancer Day in testimonies and articles on a dedicated page of the official website. These stories highlight that while the pandemic threatens to stall progress in the fight against cancer, it has also created the opportunity to strengthen Australian health systems.

The results of a survey conducted by UICC with over 100 of its member organisations in 55 countries, including civil society, hospitals, research centres and patient support groups, revealed that their income and organisational activities are under significant pressure, with almost three-quarters reporting reductions in income of anywhere from 25% to 100% in 2020 and similar projections for 2021. Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia has also been impacted, with the cancellation of community events and major fundraising activities.

Professor Jeff Dunn AO, PCFA’s CEO and President-Elect of UICC, said the organisation was working hard to overcome the obstacles of health care in a time of coronavirus.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we do things, requiring us to innovate in order to maintain our support of the 220,000 Australian men and families living with prostate cancer in this country.

“One of our major achievements has been fast-tracking the establishment of a new Prostate Cancer Specialist Telenursing Service, the first of its kind in Australia, to be launched next month.

“This simply wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the cancer care community and the many thousands of Australians who give so generously to keep our work going.”

Dr Cary Adams, UICC’s CEO, said the response of the oncology professionals throughout the pandemic had been heroic, providing an opportunity to find new ways of treating one of the world’s most deadly diseases.

“This year, more than ever, it is appropriate that we celebrate the achievements of cancer care professionals on World Cancer Day. We must prevent more cancers, diagnose cancer earlier, and ensure that all people living with cancer have access to the quality treatment they need.”

World Cancer Day 2021 is dedicated to the courage and achievements of people living with cancer and their families, as well as the nurses, doctors, researchers, volunteers and other caregivers and advocates who care for them and work on their behalf – and calls for everyone in helping to save lives from this disease.

Adaptations and innovations in cancer care through COVID-19 and beyond

Media contact:

For interviews and images:

Anne Savage, Chief Operating Officer, Anne.Savage@pcfa.org.au or 0417 709 869.