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Rare cancer action needed

Wayne Higgs toothache in 2014 turned out to be far more serious than he could ever have imagined.

The father of two returned to Perth with lingering tooth pain after walking the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. After several misdiagnosis, a growth was found in Wayne’s right sinus and he was diagnosed with high-grade maxillary adenocarcinoma.

Just 150 Australians a year receive the same diagnosis and not one of the surgeons or specialists the 58 year old saw, had ever seen the condition.

Wayne’s story is one of many, with Rare Cancers Australia today releasing a report calling on the government to take action on how it deals with rare and less common cancers. Sadly the survival rate over the last 2 decades for people with RLC cancers has barely improved, whilst the outlook for more common cancers like breast cancer has improved dramatically.

Shockingly, 52,000 diagnoses of RLC cancers are made in Australia every year, there are 25,000 deaths. Rare or Less Common Cancers are in the top 5 causes of death in every age group and are responsible for killing one Gen-Y’er in the country every day.

A very brave Wayne, who is terminal after a third, inoperable tumor was found in 2015, spoke with Steve and Baz about his experience.




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