Increasing cancer survival.

How you’ve made a difference in 2019/20

Thank you

You are funding world-class research to help those impacted by cancer. See our research highlights from 2019/20.

Because of you, in 2019/20:

$mwas invested in cancer research

researchers participated in Cancer Council supported projects


projects were funded


institutions were engaged in research projects

See more of our research highlights


Through our Pathways to a cancer free future program, our researchers continue to investigate how to optimise cancer screening and early detection in Australia, ultimately saving more lives.

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Reducing the impact of COVID-19 on cancer

The impact of COVID-19 has caused disruptions to cancer prevention, early detection and patient care services. Unless people continue to be screened for cancers, and health services are prioritised throughout the pandemic response and recovery, we could see many more deaths from cancer caused by the indirect impacts of COVID-19 than by the virus itself.

To help avoid this, we have rapidly expanded our research to develop a COVID-19 and cancer research plan, focused on all cancers and cancer interventions, aimed at preventing a COVID-19-related spike in cancer deaths and improving future outcomes.

Cancer Council NSW is expanding our research to assist the Australian COVID-19 response. We know COVID-19 is impacting on cancer – already the leading cause of premature death in NSW. We urgently need to know more, to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and accelerate our pathway to a cancer free future.

– Professor Karen Canfell, Director of Cancer Research

Where our research funding goes

  • All cancers$5,061,701 
  • Breast$1,782,701 
  • Cervical$2,135,909 
  • Childhood cancers$1,249,102 
  • Colorectal$1,532,737 
  • Lung$1,258,848 
  • Prostate$1,688,257 

View funding by all cancer types

Improving the quality of life for childhood cancer survivors

In 2020, more children are surviving cancer than ever before. But for many of those survivors, the very treatment that saved their lives will impact their quality of life for years, and even decades, into the future.

“They’re a bit of a forgotten group. If you talk to survivors, they often don’t want to make a big fuss, because they feel lucky to have survived.” – Professor Claire Wakefield

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I think the impact would have been so different if it happened to me as an adult – I would have had more resources to deal with it, it wouldn’t have been the only thing I’d ever known.

– Dave Cassar, childhood cancer survivor

Read Dave’s story

A better quality of life for prostate cancer survivors

Across NSW, about 6,690 men will hear the words “you have prostate cancer” each year.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian men (aside from common skin cancers). Although treatments for prostate cancer have a very high success rate in saving lives, survivors often experience distressing side-effects – the most common being impotence, incontinence and bowel problems. Despite this, there has been limited research into the long-term effects on survivors’ quality of life.

“Due to improved detection and diagnosis, the number of men surviving long after diagnosis has been steadily increasing.” – Associate Professor David Smith

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What’s next: Analysing COVID-19’s impact

Our researchers are conducting an Australia-wide study investigating the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on people affected by cancer and healthcare workers in cancer services. The team are analysing results of surveys of people affected by cancer (current and past cancer patients, carers and family members of someone with cancer) and healthcare workers conducted during the pandemic.

Thank you to all the organisations who choose to support us.

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