Policy priorities

From National Cancer Control Policy
Liver cancer > Policy priorities

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Policy priorities

Reducing the burden of liver cancer in Australia requires a multi-sectoral approach. Cancer Council Australia aims to reduce the incidence of liver cancer through direct action and advocacy to ensure better management of the primary risk factors, hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). See below for a summary of evidence-based policy priorities in this area.

Table 1. Policy priorities to reduce the burden of liver cancer

Evidence-based national strategic response to hepatitis B and C
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Develop and implement action plans to achieve the priorities of the First National Hepatitis B Strategy and Third National Hepatitis C Strategy Australian and state and territory governments in partnership with all stakeholders Coordinated and targeted actions to help reduce the prevalence of HBV and HCV and hence the future burden of hepatocellular carcinoma; improved outcomes from HBV- and HCV-infected populations
Conduct a national seroprevalence survey, ensuring adequate representation of high-risk population groups Better informed hepatitis prevention and control policy and measures
Link existing data from surveillance programs, disease registries and treatment databases to monitor the burden of hepatitis-related liver cancer Better informed population-based prevention programs to reduce liver cancer burden
Increased diagnosis and treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Increase participation of GPs and community healthcare providers in management and treatment of HBV and HCV Increased diagnosis, better access to treatment and better support for people infected with HBV and HCV
Enhanced awareness about liver cancer risk factors and prevention strategies
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Increase awareness of viral and non-viral risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma among high-risk groups Improved primary prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma, improved prevention of HBV and HCV
Increase awareness of link between hepatitis infection and liver cancer among health professionals and policymakers Improved disease management, screening and prevention of hepatocellular carcinoma
Increase community awareness and understanding of hepatitis and liver cancer, particularly among high-risk groups

Improved engagement with communities at risk of viral infection and with those already infected

Governments, RACGP, Australian General Practice Network, Cancer Councils and other cancer organisations, hepatitis organisations, community health groups Increased uptake of prevention strategies, treatment and management of HBV and HCV
Expanding the evidence base
Policy priority/action Agency Estimated cost Expected benefit Comments
Conduct and support behavioural research Cancer Councils, NGOs, Australian National Preventive Health Agency Modest; funded on a project-by-project basis More effective interventions to increase motivation and access to screening and treatment, reduce barriers to treatment
Further assess the potential of targeted hepatitis B screening Federal and state/territory governments, Cancer Councils Improved awareness and informed policy One current example is the B Positive project, run by Cancer Council NSW
Improve hepatitis related data collection and linkage through policy and education of healthcare providers, including recording Indigenous status and progression to hepatocellular carcinoma Australian National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System, healthcare practitioners Better evaluation of the effectiveness of prevention strategies across the population and in sub-groups

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