The Turnbull Government is providing $280,000 to help support people diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumours – a rare and often misdiagnosed cancer.
The Unicorn Foundation will receive funding to help patients diagnosed with the condition,
no matter where they live in Australia, to access information, either by phone or online, helping them understand the challenges and treatment options available.
Webinars and other learning tools for doctors and other health professionals will support diagnosis of this cancer while providing information to guide parents and family members of patients.
Neuroendocrine tumours form when specialised cells in the neuroendocrine system, which help regulate basic body functions like digestion, respiration, heart rate and blood pressure, undergo changes, causing them to divide and grow.
These tumours often develop in the gastro-intestinal system, but can appear in other parts of the body including the lungs, skin, ovaries, kidneys, stomach, liver and glands.
Neuroendocrine tumours display various clinical symptoms, many of which are non-specific, and because of this they may be difficult to detect.
Around five to seven Australians are estimated to develop neuroendocrine tumours per 100,000 people.
The not-for-profit Unicorn Foundation was created out of personal experience, with brother and sister founders Dr John Leyden and Simone Leyden establishing the organisation after their sister Kate was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine cancer.
While Kate lost her battle with cancer, she has left a very important legacy that will help many others.
As a Government, we are determined to continue to provide support for fighting horrible cancers – both common and rare.
The recent Budget highlighted this commitment.
Our $68 million investment in a new proton beam research and treatment facility in South Australia will improve treatment of cancers of the skull, vertebrae, pelvis and some paediatric cancers.
It will allow doctors to more accurately target and treat tumours located close to vital organs, tissue and bones, and avoid damage to healthy cells.
An additional $10.8 million has been provided for medical research and clinical trials, specifically for those childhood cancers where survival rates are low.
Primary care, clinical trials, and translation of research into health care are among the areas identified as a priority for funding under the Medical Research Future Fund, with the first $65.9 million in disbursements from this fund currently underway.