LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch is urging Far Northerners to make a submission into a new House of Representatives inquiry into skin cancer, which kills more than 2000 Australians every year.
“According to Cancer Council Australia, two in three Australians will be diagnosed with a skin cancer by the time they turn 70 years of age,” Mr Entsch said.
“More than 400,000 people in Australia are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers each year. Melanoma remains the most common cancer in Australians aged 15 to 44 years.
“Given our outdoors lifestyle, and our love of the water and the beach, it is vital that we stay vigilant, focus on prevention, and do everything we can to make sure they are caught early.”
The committee will investigate the awareness, early diagnosis and management of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers and report on:
· the need to increase levels of awareness in the community and among healthcare professionals;
· strategies to enhance early diagnosis; and
· options to improve implementation of evidence-based best practice treatment and management.
In launching the inquiry, Committee Chair Steve Irons MP said Australians have more than 12 times the global average rate of melanoma of the skin-the highest recorded incidence in the world. However, global comparisons of survival rates for cancer patients show Australia is performing well in managing and treating skin cancer.
“This success shows that the Australian medical system is a great national asset, but we cannot become complacent,” Mr Irons said. “We must do what we can to ensure that the dangers of melanoma and various other skin cancers are confronted as vigorously as possible.
“The committee is keen to hear from the community, both medical experts and ordinary Australians, on what needs to be done to get the best outcome for us all.”
Submissions from interested individuals and organisations should be received by COB 12 March 2014. The preferred form of submissions is in electronic format sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Hardcopy submissions can be sent to the House of Representatives Health Committee, Parliament House-they should be accompanied by an electronic version on disc.
Further information on the committee’s inquiry, including the full terms of reference and more details on how to lodge a submission are now available on the committee’s website: www.aph.gov.au/health