Department of Health

Key messages

  • The Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024 identifies priorities to prevent cancer, increase survival, improve the experience of the cancer treatment and care system, and achieve equitable outcomes for all Victorians with cancer.
  • The Improving Cancer Outcomes Act 2014, requires the preparation of a cancer plan every four years.

The Victorian cancer plan 2020-2024 (the cancer plan), aligns with key Victorian strategies and seeks to address inequities and priorities identified through:

  • extensive stakeholder consultation (undertaken in late 2019)
  • the Victorian cancer plan monitoring and evaluation framework: baseline report (the Department of Health and Human Services 2020a)
  • the 2019 Victorian Cancer Patient Experience Survey
  • contemporary evidence/literature.

The cancer plan continues with the same five priority action areas of the previous plan (2016-2020) and is focussed on achieving health equity across the cancer system so people are not disadvantaged by who they are, where they live, or what resources they have. The cancer plan recognises that every person has unique needs and experiences.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on cancer screening, detection, diagnosis, treatment, follow up care and research has been woven into the plan. Efforts will be required to address the impacts of people avoiding and deferring care. Use of tele-health and home-based care during the period of isolation and physical distancing is likely to alter future models of cancer care across the continuum.

The cancer plan supports achievement of long, medium and short goals.

Long term goals

  • halve the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers (2040)
  • achieve equitable outcomes for all Victorians (2040)
  • ensure Victorians have the best possible experience of the cancer treatment and care system (2040)
  • increase one- and five-year survival of Victorians with cancer (2040)

Medium term goals

  • save 10,000 lives by 2025
  • 90 per cent reduction in the number of new infections of hepatitis B and C (2030)
  • eliminate cervical cancer as a public health problem in Victoria (2030)
  • increase the number of women who rescreen for breast cancer to more than 75 per cent (2030)
  • 90 per cent of cancer patients receiving specialist palliative care within 12 months prior to death (2030)

Short term goals

  • at least 80 per cent of hospital and health services' retail outlets and vending machines meet recommended Victorian Government food and nutrition standards (2024)
  • encourage an additional 10,000 under-screened women to have a cervical screen through the self-collection pathway (2024)
  • increase access by 20 per cent for symptom and urgent review clinics for chemotherapy patients, to avoid emergency presentations for vulnerable patients (2024)
  • increase by 50 per cent, in people who have metastatic cancer, the proportion of people with an advance care directive
  • increase the overall number of new clinical trial enrolments in rural and regional areas in Victoria by 30 per cent (2024)

Priority activities

The plan identifies 27 priority activities that build on our achievements and respond to key challenges across five priority action areas:

  • primary prevention
  • screening and early detection
  • treatment
  • wellbeing and support
  • research.

Reviewed 19 January 2023


Contact details

Cancer Support, Treatment and Research Department of Health

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