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Labour's Cancer Control Strategy is failing

Jackie Blue MP
National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

13 July 2008

Labour's Cancer Control Strategy is failing

Further proof that the Government's much vaunted Cancer Control Strategy is failing was presented at a prostate cancer forum in Wellington yesterday, says National Party Associate Health spokeswoman Jackie Blue.

"Labour's Cancer Control strategy is not delivering."

Dr Blue is commenting on a paper presented at the conference by Wellington researchers which reveals that Maori and Pacific men in the region are more likely to present with advanced prostate cancer and higher mortality rates, as well as being under-diagnosed compared with other New Zealanders.

The report concludes the most likely explanation is that many of these men are persuaded by the negative and biased information about prostate cancer screening disseminated by the Government. They believe men put up with disabling symptoms, and don't seek help.

"Two of the main goals of Labour's Cancer Control strategy is improving information and reducing cancer rates, and this research is further proof that it is failing.

"There are growing treatment delays, the promised prostate testing guidelines have slid off the agenda, and we have an out-of-date cancer register. And that's before we even examine the issues around the treatment of cancer for women and the long-running Herceptin debacle.

"The development of prostate cancer guidelines for health professionals and accurate, balanced information for men to make an informed decision about prostate cancer testing has been painfully and unacceptably slow.

"Repeatedly, National has repeatedly called for action on these guidelines. Repeatedly, Labour has stalled and stalled. Health Minister David Cunliffe is trying to park these issues until after the election."


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