Rare Cancers Australia Ltd (RCA) is a charity whose purpose is to improve awareness, support and treatment of Australians with rare and less common (RLC) cancers. In Australia in 2017, an estimated 52,000 people will be diagnosed with a RLC cancer and 25,000 will die from them, according to Cancer in Australia 2017 estimates.
As distinct from common cancers (breast, prostate, bowel, lung and melanoma) there is very little patient support offered to RLC cancer patients. RCA works tirelessly to ensure that this cancer group will never be forgotten or ignored again.
RCA has a number of key areas of focus:
Creating a Patient Community
A common reaction to a diagnosis of an RLC cancer is a sense of isolation and confusion. RCA is developing online communities to ensure patients can both better understand their disease and readily meet and communicate with others experiencing similar challenges.
Patient Support Programs
A diagnosis of cancer often creates a number of related practical challenges for patients as they undertake treatment for their disease. By identifying patient needs through staff at oncology wards and facilitating assistance from volunteer and other organisations, RCA ensures delivery of real practical support.
RCA understands that friends and family of a rare cancer patient are often motivated to raise money to assist with the many costs associated with cancer treatment. An online campaign fundraising facility is available on the RCA website whereby donations can be made for a specific patient and these funds can then be directed by RCA for payment of a particular treatment cost.
Find out how you can fundraise here.
Treatment & Research
RCA is working to ensure that the best treatments in the world are available and affordable to Australian cancer patients. Recent breakthroughs in cancer treatment require reforms to the current government funding programs if Australians are to have access to the best possible care. RCA is also raising money for research into new and improved treatments. Perhaps one of RCA’s biggest initiative is the Patient Treatment Fund helping patients gain access to non-government funded medicines.
Early diagnosis is a key element in a cancer patient’s survival prospects. RCA raises awareness with both the public and medical profession of rare and less common cancers and plans to greatly improve the likelihood of early diagnosis.
Rare Cancers Australia Ltd is governed by a Board of Directors and is classified as a Health Promotion Charity by the Federal Government. All contributions are fully tax deductible.