October is known around the world as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The aim of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to increase awareness of breast cancer and the impact it has as well as to raise much needed funds. To celebrate breast cancer awareness month, people engage in fundraising activities and purchase pink merchandise to raise money for this fantastic cause.
At ACRF however, we refer to October as our “Women’s Cancer Month” – a time where we raise awareness and much needed funds for all types of cancer that affect Australian women, as cancer statistics show 1 in 4 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 75.
At ACRF, we are committed to improving prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. That is why, this October we are focusing on all cancers that affect women, not just breast cancer.
Every day up to 50 women in Australia are diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancer. These cancer types include uterine, cervical, vulva and ovarian – cancers which are sometimes forgotten and unfortunately under-funded. Then there are other common women’s cancers which we need to remember this October: these include; bowel, lung and skin cancers.
We are committed to funding research through our grants and research projects into these cancer types, bringing new hope to our mothers, daughters, sisters, cousins and friends around the world.
We are thrilled to have seen many positive outcomes in this year alone for research into breast cancer.
Australian researchers have made great progress in discovering new treatment options for both oestrogen-receptor positive breast cancers, and for triple-negative breast cancers. They’ve also developed the world’s smallest microscope, which fits into a needle and ensures increased accuracy during breast cancer operations.
There continues to be more progress in breast cancer research with a study which concluded that there are nearly 200 genes that affect a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
Another research team has made advancements in breast cancer treatment, finding the anti-cancer medicine venetoclax could improve the current therapy for estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer – the most common form of breast cancer in Australia.
Survival rates have now increased to 89% but our mission to save so many women continues. Cancer researchers are now working towards zero breast cancer deaths by 2030 and this increase will only be possible with more funding.
We also need to start seeing equally promising research and results into other women’s cancer types – the cancers that remain under-funded, and often forgotten: uterine, ovarian, vulva, cervical and others.
On the other hand, ovarian cancer is the ninth most common cancer affecting Australian women with average five-year survival rates at only 43%. Furthermore, over 2,000 women are diagnosed with uterine cancer each year; an average of six women being diagnosed each day. We are committed to making improvements with these cancers in the future.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we fund research into all of these types of cancer, and we have the power to turn these statistics around.
Donations from our Woman’s Appeal help fund research into women’s cancers, particularly breast, cervical and ovarian cancer. If you would like to provide life changing support to Australian women, you can make a donation to ACRF today