The NSW Cancer Survivors Centre at UNSW will benefit from the Ride for Life fundraising cycling event in Sydney this Sunday 19 August.
The good news is more people are surviving cancer but until recently there was a gap in providing physical and emotional support for survivors, with most patients farewelled at hospital after being told they are cancer-free but still desperately in need of ongoing support.
People in NSW with cancer now have a 64.4 per cent chance of surviving the disease beyond five years of diagnosis, compared with a 49 per survival rate in the 1980s.
Based at UNSW Medicine, the Cancer Survivors Centre is dedicated to cancer survivors and is the first of its kind in Australia to provide clinical services and conduct research for both adults and children.
Rick Christie, the founder of Ride for Life, is a cancer survivor himself and has committed to giving the centre around $50,000 per year for five years. Rick and his wife Vicki survived cancer together, both being diagnosed in 2002.
“Ride for Life has been going for eight years now as a fundraising entity and we have wanted to provide money towards what’s known as survivorship,” Christie says.
“We thought that was an important issue to focus our fundraising efforts on and when we heard about the NSW Cancer Survivors Centre being created, we thought that was a good thing to support.”
“Cancer survivors experience a range of physical, psychological and lifestyle problems as a consequence of both cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Centre Director and UNSW Professor Andrew Lloyd.
“Many of these challenges are not adequately addressed by current cancer services and are often outside the expertise of general practitioners,” he says.
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