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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Varian and Lung Foundation Australia shed light on optimal use of radiation therapy in cancer care journey

Health Industry Hub | November 24, 2022 |

MedTech News: Navigating the care pathway from cancer diagnosis is complex for most Australians. Radiation therapy (RT) is one of the pillars of cancer therapy, however, despite advances in contemporary RT many patients are not treated with RT.

Rebecca Cortiula, Senior Managing Director Australasia, Varian and Mark Brooke, CEO of Lung Foundation Australia joined Health Industry Hub to discuss the joint whitepaper – Shining a light: Radiotherapy cancer treatment in Australia – launched in Parliament House yesterday.

According to the whitepaper, RT has a role in curing 40% of all cancers. Unfortunately, 20% of cancer patients who should receive RT in line with best practice care do not receive it.

Ms Cortiula and Mr Brooke reflected on the improvements in equity of care required so that all cancer patients eligible to receive RT are offered this efficacious treatment option that is also economically sound. In fact, for every dollar of tax payer funds invested in treating cancer, RT costs only 6 cents.

“We’ve come to that point now as a patient advocacy community where we expect the gold standard because that’s what we’re paying for with our taxpayer dollars. These are treatments that should be available to people but tragically are not,” said Mr Brooke.

Ms Cortiula commented on leveraging digital technologies to reduce the equity gaps for supporting remote and rural communities. She said “We have made huge leaps forward with digital health during this [pandemic] period. So the location of the specialist shouldn’t impact the ability for them to support a patient.”

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