We offer support and guidance to health professionals and cancer survivors. The ACSC receives funding from The Pratt Foundation, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
Who we are
Better treatments mean more and more people are surviving cancer. Many of these people go on to lead normal if not extraordinary lives, while for some cancer has a lasting impact. This can include ongoing side effects of treatment, fear of a cancer relapse or other physical, emotional, financial and social concerns.
The Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre – A Richard Pratt Legacy (ACSC) is a multidisciplinary statewide service hosted at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.
Our vision is to optimise the health and wellbeing of cancer survivors and their carers.
There has been a great increase in the number of cancer survivors in Australia in the past two decades. This is due to advances in early detection, better treatments and ageing of the population.
In the past, cancer care has focused on diagnosis and treatment. However, international research shows it is just as important to help cancer survivors cope with life beyond their acute treatment. It is important that survivors receive the right information and support at the right time.
Cancer survivors experience particular issues, often different from people having active treatment for cancer. There is consensus that survivorship care encompasses four elements:
- prevention and detection of new cancers and recurrent cancer
- surveillance for cancer spread, recurrence or secondary cancers
- intervention for consequences of cancer and its treatment (such as medical problems, symptoms and psychosocial and practical concerns)
- coordination between specialists and primary care providers to ensure survivors' health needs are met.
More research, collaboration and advocacy are needed to understand survivor issues and enable health services to provide evidence-based, quality care. The ACSC was established in 2009 to improve health outcomes for cancer survivors at Peter Mac, and to influence survivorship care nationally. The ACSC was launched with funding from The Pratt Foundation, the Victorian Government and Peter Mac.
What we do
ACSC considers a person to be a "cancer survivor" from the time of diagnosis, through the balance of their life. We focus our work primarily on the post-treatment phase of cancer survivorship.
ACSC works with partners and collaborators to transform the care provided to cancer survivors. Our program of work supports health professionals and consumers. We undertake survivorship research and collaborate on a broad program of work.
The ACSC Strategic Plan 2013–16 sets out strategic objectives, actions and the key supporting initiatives that will enable optimal outcomes for cancer survivors and their carers over the coming years.
Katie Rogerson, Project Officer