More than 1,000 people have been diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia this year, with the latest figures showing the number of new cases rising.
The latest figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show there were 939 new cases in December, up from 933 in November and 928 in October.
The increase is the worst in the last seven years, with cases continuing to rise despite an overall drop in cases.ABC Health understands more than 100 of the new cases are in the north-west of the country.
Dr Jennifer Wilson said the numbers were likely to continue to rise in coming weeks.
“There is definitely a trend in the number,” she said.
“It’s been a trend for some time, but the overall trend has been to see more breast cancer cases, so the trend lines have been moving in the wrong direction.”
Ms Wilson said more than half of those who were diagnosed with the disease were aged 40 or over.
“We are very lucky that most of the women who do get breast cancer do so from older women, who are very vulnerable, so they’re the ones who are going to be the hardest hit,” she told the ABC.
“That is why we’re seeing the younger women, especially, who have a lot of disposable income.”
They’re going to need that extra support.
“She said the government should make sure those who needed to go through chemo were treated at home and given the right support.”
The health system is still underfunded and it’s going to take a lot more resources to support older people who are still going to require chemo, and those who are struggling with their own breast cancer, because they’re not getting the support,” she explained.”
So we need to make sure that the health system does a better job of supporting older people, and I think we can.
“She added the government had also been doing a “good job” of ensuring the money spent on the drug was spent properly.”
In the past, the drug has been prescribed to people who really have no symptoms, but it’s really important that people who do have symptoms get the treatment,” she added.”
What we’ve seen is that the drug is not the only thing that is being used, there’s other things that are being used as well.
“When people are being treated for other conditions, it’s not always the case that they are actually getting the right drugs.”
Dr Wilson said there was an important role for the health and wellbeing of older people to play in their treatment.
“I think that’s really critical for us to recognise that our elderly people are at a really critical time in their lives, and that is where we need the health care system to really step up and support them,” she continued.
“Because if we don’t step up, there will be a significant increase in older people dying.”
And if you’re really worried about your health, if you don’t have that support, then we have a real problem in terms of how we are treating our older people.
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