Richard and Kate Vines co-founded Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) in June 2012 and in the ensuing years have established the organisation as a key participant in the broader cancer community.
During this time RCA has published research on the state of rare and less common cancers through the ‘Just a Little More Time’ baseline and update reports, actively advocated for policy reform around research and treatment, launched the first of its kind, 'Rare Solutions: A Time to Act' roadmap for reform, and provided substantial support to Australians living with rare and less common cancers today. More recently RCA along with members of the National Oncology Alliance launched Vision 20-30 Report. With the input from more than 50 experts and consultation with over 500 members of the cancer community, the NOA Vision 20-30 report casts a national direction for how cancer care will evolve over the next ten years for all cancer patients.
Richard and Kate continue to work with government, clinicians, and industry to make certain that these cancers, of which there are over 200, will never be forgotten or ignored again.
What is a rare cancer?
In Australia, a rare cancer is defined as an incidence of less than six per 100,000 of the population, and a less common cancer is an incidence between six and twelve inclusive per 100,000 of the population.
While we have seen increases in incidence for common cancers, we have also seen dramatic reductions in mortality due to early diagnosis and improved treatments, but this has not been the case for rare and less common cancers where the diagnosis remains slow, and treatment availability is limited.
Rare Cancers Australia Ltd (RCA) is a charity whose purpose is to improve the lives and health outcomes of Australians living with rare and less common (RLC) cancers.
In Australia in 2017, an estimated 52,000 people were diagnosed with RLC cancers, and 25,000 died from them, according to Cancer in Australia 2017 estimates.
As distinct from common cancers (breast, prostate, bowel, lung and melanoma) there is very little patient support offered to RLC cancer patients. RCA works tirelessly to ensure that this cancer group will never be forgotten or ignored again.