If we don’t create ways to fund research into gynaecological cancer, we simply wouldn’t improve survival rates, treatment options, our knowledge about ways to prevent it and ways to detect it earlier. This is because the only way to fund improvements in this area is through fundraising.
Each year in Australia, 5000 women are diagnosed with gynaecological cancer and this number is increasing each year. Almost a third will not survive their disease. More than ever before, we need to increase research into quality treatments as this group of cancers is costing Australia $182 million a year, affecting women’s quality of life and having an impact it shouldn’t be having in this day and age.
Funding into research by the Australian Government has been drastically reduced since 2008, from $14 million to $7 million, even though all of the statistics show it is an increasingly prevalent cancer type among women. We cannot continue to wait. The current status quo isn’t good enough. Cherish was established in 2012 to raise crucial funds to support research projects which have the potential to produce real outcomes for those touched by gynaecological cancer.
Doctors engaged in clinical research strive to develop even better treatment solutions for patients with gynaecological cancer so treatment plans consider the implications of a certain action rather than simply follow a set way of doing things because it has always been done that way. A clinical trial is a formal assessment or a research study in which patients, doctors and researchers help find ways to improve health care. Clinical trials are designed to answer specific questions and find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.
Clinical trials test new treatments or interventions, including:
- new surgical approaches
- new supportive care techniques
- new drugs, including chemotherapy agents
- new vaccines, gene therapy techniques and alternative medicines
They may also investigate prevention methods, such as medicines, vitamins, minerals, or other supplements that doctors believe may lower the risk of a certain type of cancer. These trials look for the best way to prevent cancer in people who have never had cancer, prevent cancer from recurring or stop a new type of cancer occurring in people who have already had cancer.
Other research areas include:
- screening trials, which test the best way to find cancer, especially in its early stages
- quality of life trials (also called supportive care trials), which explore ways to improve comfort and quality of life for cancer patients
- epidemiological studies, which:
- look at factors affecting the health and illness of populations
- help identify risk factors for disease, and
- determine optimal treatment approaches to clinical practice.
Cancer research can provide direct benefits to trial participants by providing up-to-date, best practice care, close monitoring and the opportunity to benefit from a new treatment option. Participants will also contribute to knowledge and progress and when we think of the generations of women to come, we know we are doing our best to ensure the issues we face today are not issues our daughters will need to face in the future.
For more details about the clinical trials that Cherish has been able to contribute funding to, please click here.