Petition breathes new life into lung nurse debate

Federal government petitioned to provide funding for lung cancer nurses

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AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS: The Lung Foundation is calling for government funding for specialist lung cancer nurses.

AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS: The Lung Foundation is calling for government funding for specialist lung cancer nurses.

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The Lung Foundation says Australia's biggest cancer killer is still under funded.

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A PETITION has been tabled in federal parliament, calling for the government to provide funding for specialist lung cancer nurses.

The petition was brought before parliament on July 1 and calls for budget funding to support the 12,700 Australians diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

Lung Foundation Australia's chair Christine Jenkins said the organisation and lung cancer community had been campaigning for a "fair go" for too long.

"The Australian Government has invested significantly in specialist nurses for breast cancer and prostate cancer and we have seen this greatly improve outcomes for these patients," Dr Jenkins said.

"There's no reason why lung cancer patients shouldn't receive the same care and support."

The leading respiratory physician said Australia was lagging behind other nations in terms of clinical care for lung cancer patients.

"With as few as 12 full-time equivalent specialist nurses - that's less than one nurse per 1,000 people diagnosed each year," she said.

Lung cancer is Australia's biggest cancer killer - killing more than 9,000 Australians each year and has a survival rate of only 17 per cent after five years.

Young father of three and Stage III lung cancer patient Bruno Galgano said it was time for the government to stop ignoring the evidence.

"Lung cancer patients can't live on hope alone. Our families can't live on hope alone," he said.

"We need real help now in the form of nurses who will help us survive long enough to get to the next Christmas."

For more information about the petition, click here.

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