Three years after the first statewide cancer plan was released, regional Victorians remain worse-off than their metropolitan counterparts in surviving the disease.
A limited update on the burden of cancer was included in a consultation paper, released ahead of regional consultation for the Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024.
The Department of Health and Human Services document states that the target to save 10,000 lives by 2025 through prevention is on track, but "poorer outcomes have persisted for some cancer types and for people living in some regional areas".
"In 2017 another 34,557 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer, and 10,955 died from the disease," the report said.
"Five-year survival for cancers steadily increased from 46 per cent between 1982 and 1986, to 68 per cent between 2013 and 2016."
The first four-year cancer plan, developed after the the Improving Cancer Outcomes Act 2014 was passed, identified the overall cancer five-year survival rate was 65 per cent for regional Victorians and 69 per cent for metropolitan residents.
It acknowledged that while Victoria has some of the best survival rates in the world, "Aboriginal Victorians have a significantly higher mortality rate than non-Aboriginal Victorians, and people living in some regional areas have poorer outcomes than those in metropolitan Melbourne".
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Over the next four years, DHHS hopes to improve access to clinical trials for country patients.
The consultation paper also proposes to "develop strategies to ensure equity of access to funding for cancer research in regional Victoria and to support the career progression of female researchers".
Online consultation opened yesterday at engage.vic.gov.au and a face-to-face workshop will take place in Albury on October 23.
The final Victorian Cancer Plan 2020-2024 will be released in July.
It's estimated that by 2025-29, each year more than 41,000 Victorians will be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 13,000 will die from the disease.