Cancer control

Cancer control aims to reduce the incidence, mortality and impact of cancer on the population.

Page last updated: 16 March 2016

Commitment to cancer control involves coordinated measures that focus on:

The key Australian Government agencies with a role in cancer control are:

Department of Health

The Department of Health has overarching portfolio responsibility for managing cancer control policy and for the implementation of the majority of cancer related budget measures. The department funds:
  • research, prevention and detection through population screening programs
  • support and treatment for those living with cancer, including palliative care programs
  • support for health professionals who care for cancer patients.
The cancer program includes funding a world class cancer system, funding for infrastructure for regional cancer centres, some research and cancer medicines and care.

Cancer Australia

Cancer Australia is a statutory agency within the health portfolio, established under the Cancer Australia Act 2006, to reduce the impact of cancer for all Australians. It provides strategic leadership in cancer care by bringing together key cancer organisations and aims to lessen the divide in outcomes for groups of people who have poorer than average survival rates or cancer experiences, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people living in rural and regional areas, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

The main functions of Cancer Australia include:
  • providing national leadership in cancer control
  • guiding scientific improvements to cancer prevention and care
  • coordinating and liaising with a wide range of groups and providers with an interest in cancer
  • making recommendations to the Australian Government about cancer policy and priorities
  • overseeing a dedicated budget for cancer research.
The National Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre (NBOCC), the government's expert centre on breast and ovarian cancer control was amalgamated into Cancer Australia in 2011.

National Health and Medical Research Council

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is Australia's peak body for:
  • supporting health and medical research
  • developing health advice for the Australian community, health professionals and governments
  • providing advice on ethical behaviour in health care and in the conduct of health and medical research
  • NHMRC is the single largest funder of cancer research in Australia.
NHMRC administers funding for health and medical research on behalf of the Australian Government.Top of page

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) is a major national agency set up under the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Act to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.

AIHW's aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians through better health and welfare information and statistics. The AIHW collects and reports information on a wide range of topics and issues ranging from health and welfare expenditure, hospitals, disease and injury and mental health to ageing, homelessness, disability and child protection.

The AIHW's National Centre for Monitoring Cancer was established in 2009 to monitor cancer rates and their impact and outcomes, and to identify and address priority gaps and deficiencies in population-level cancer data to improve the evidence base.