Marking World Cancer Day
Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman
Minister of Health
3rd February 2017
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman says World Cancer Day is an
opportunity to focus on what more can be done to further improve
"Tomorrow is World Cancer Day and it's timely to think about
family and friends who have been touched by cancer," says Dr
"While cancer is New Zealand's leading cause of death, outcomes
for people with cancer continue to improve. In 2011, 63 per cent of
cancer patients survived five years after diagnosis, up from 57 per
cent in 1999.
"For some cancers, including breast, prostate and melanoma, more
than 80 per cent of patients live at least five years.
"Kiwis are receiving better, faster cancer treatment and more
support during their care as a result of the Government's $63
million faster cancer treatment programme.
"There are a number of new initiatives this year which will help
to further improve early detection of cancer, and build on the
faster cancer treatment programme.
"The national bowel screening programme begins in Wairarapa and
Hutt Valley DHBs in July. Once fully implemented the programme will
invite more than 700,000 people for screening every two years. In
the early screening rounds, around 500-700 cancers are expected to
be detected each year.
"A prostate cancer support tool will be available later this
year to help men and their families make better decisions about
testing and treatment options, and another support tool is being
developed for primary care.
"There will be a focus on further improving radiation therapy
treatment across the country through a set of actions set out in
the Radiation Oncology Plan 2017-2021 which will be released early
"There will also be a renewed focus on delivering innovative
services to adolescents and young adults with cancer, supported by
the Core Standards of Care for Adolescents and Young Adults which
will be launched in April.
"A number of initiatives are also delivering good results. One
big success has been the introduction of cancer nurse coordinators
who are helping to reduce stress on more than 1,000 patients a
month by streamlining the diagnostic and treatment process.
"They are working closely with over 30 psychologists and social
workers across the country who are providing for the emotional and
social support needs of patients.
"A $124 million funding boost for Pharmac in Budget 2016 has
seen increased access to new medicines, including treatments for
breast cancer, chronic lymphocytic leukemia and advanced
Media contact: Kirsty Taylor-Doig
February 7, 2017