Survival Rates For Laryngectomy Patients Improves

Survival Rates For Laryngectomy Patients Improves

Victoria Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

Better Care For Victorian Laryngectomy Patients

Victor P Taffa

Andrews Government will give crucial funding to help Victorian laryngectomy patients, many who are cancer survivor’s access to funding for everyday equipment they need to assist with breathing and the prevention of infections.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today announced up to $1.7 Million would be made available to cover the cost of expensive consumables for laryngectomy patients.

“Victorians with laryngectomies are struggling to meet their out-of-pocket expenses. This funding will help ease that burden for these patients.” Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said.

“For the first time, this funding boost puts Victorian laryngectomy patients on par with the assistance received by patients in New South Wales.”

A laryngectomy involves the removal of the larynx or voice box, generally following a head or neck cancer. These patients have an ongoing need to replace consumables such as heat and moistures exchangers and foam stoma covers, which cover a permanent hole in their lower neck.

This ongoing care is vital to reduce the risk of lung and respiratory infections, but can often come at a significant cost.

To help support Victorians who have had a laryngectomy, the State Government will provide funding of up to $5,000 a year to cover these costs.

About 60 laryngectomies are performed in Victoria each year and there are about 450 Victorians living with a laryngectomy.

These funds will be available to patients who’ve had laryngectomies from 1 July. The program already covers the cost of voice aids.

In 2016, 33,037 Victorians were diagnosed with cancer and 11,111 died from the disease. Of these, 860 Victorians were diagnosed with head and neck cancer. We need to do more to save more lives and to improve the quality of patients’ lives following a diagnosis of cancer.

That’s why our Victorian Cancer Action Plan 2016-20 has set an ambitious target of saving 10,000 lives from cancer in the next 10 years, as well as developing services and programs statewide to support survivors and their families after a cancer diagnosis.

5 year survival rate for Victorians diagnosed with cancer has increased from 48 % in 1986 to 68 % in 2016.

Last year’s Budget invested an additional $14.1 Million over 4 years to prevent cancer and increase early detection of cancer.