Thanks to the generosity of the WA community, we are proud to have reopened a standalone Cancer Council WA Midwest Regional Centre in Geraldton, after 15 years located within the Geraldton Regional Hospital. The premises are now just a few doors down from the very first regional centre ever opened by Cancer Council WA.
Our CEO, Ashley Reid, said it was imperative Cancer Council WA continues to provide cancer prevention and early detection programs, as well as supportive care services to the people of the Midwest Region.
“In 2017, more than 4201 men and women in the Midwest heard the words ‘you have cancer’,” Mr Reid said.
“Unfortunately during that same year, almost 1402 people in the Midwest lost their lives to this disease.
“We know that more than a third of all cancers are preventable, so there’s great potential to reduce the burden of cancer in the Midwest, with our Regional Education Officer delivering programs that support the community to reduce their risk of developing cancer and how to find cancer early.”
Data from the 2013-2016 WA Health and Wellbeing Surveillance System survey showed that one in six adults in the Midwest (16 per cent) smoked, nearly half (48 per cent) did not eat the recommended daily two serves of fruit, most (88 per cent) did not eat the recommended daily five serves of vegetables, over a third (35 per cent) drank more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any one day, and over a third (35 per cent) were obese.3
Mr Reid said many people also need help and support to adjust to a new way of living when they have been diagnosed with cancer.
“Cancer is responsible for Australia’s largest disease burden with about one-third of those affected living in regional and rural areas, so we are thrilled we now have this wonderful venue and location to continue our practical, emotional and informational support, coordinated by our Cancer Support Coordinator,” he said.
“During 2019-2020, Cancer Council WA provided more than $12,000 in financial hardship payments to people in the Midwest experiencing hardship while undergoing cancer treatment.
“In addition, there was almost 680 check-ins at our Lodges made by Midwest cancer patients and their carers, and 147 calls by those living in the Midwest to our 13 11 20 cancer nurses.
“We now have 29 SunSmart primary schools and 20 SunSmart early childhood centres across the Midwest so the new Midwest office will also allow us to work even more closely with schools and centres across the region.
“We will also recommence the wig library services locally for clients impacted by their treatment.
“It is evident by these numbers how imperative it is for Cancer Council WA to continue to provide cancer prevention and supportive care services to the people of the Midwest Region.
“With a more visible centre we are looking forward to engaging more than ever with the Midwest community to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer.”