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Thursday, 27 March 2014
Page: 3460

Mr GRIFFIN (Bruce) (10:18): I rise today to remind the House of the importance of research and support for those suffering from lung cancer. Many members, including the member for Shortland, were at a function just the other day put on by the Lung Foundation of Australia to raise awareness within the parliament and the community of the issues facing those with lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the biggest cancer killer in Australia. It kills more than 20 people each day—more than breast, ovarian and prostate cancers combined. The economic and social burden of lung cancer is high, and, as we know, survival rates are low. What has become clear with respect to treatment for lung cancer is that there is a need to take a multidisciplinary approach and a need to ensure not only that care involves specialists but that lung-cancer nurse specialists particularly are made available to provide a complete mode of treatment for those who are suffering from this debilitating disease. Studies have been done showing that an approach of that nature actually will have a positive impact not only on the wellbeing of the sufferer but also on their survival rates over time.

The Lung Foundation is saying to the government that there is a need to do a pilot in relation to lung-cancer nurses and it is seeking some $12.6 million over two years to establish this program and test its viability and success for those who are suffering from this debilitating disease. I would urge the government to consider this submission very seriously. There is no doubt that lung cancer is a terrible killer and there is no doubt that providing people with a multidisciplinary approach is important, particularly with nursing care from experts who understand the nature of both the treatments and the debilitating condition that this cancer is. It is an important part of giving people the best possible care in what will often be the most traumatic time of their lives, not only for them but also for their families.

We have multidisciplinary approaches and cancer-specialist nurses in some other fields of cancer. Lung cancer is certainly deserving of this sort of support. I urge the government to consider this submission very seriously. Times may be tough, but, if you are in a situation where you are suffering from something like lung cancer, then, frankly, the circumstances of your life are absolutely appalling.

I urge the government to consider this submission seriously. It is well written, it is important and it concerns something that will provide real care and support for people going through devastating times.