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Cancer experts gather in Adelaide to share latest research

6 May 2013    

International and Australian leaders in behavioural cancer research will gather in Adelaide this week to discuss new ways to tackle cancer control issues including alcohol, smoking, obesity and cancer screening.

Cancer Council’s 11th Behavioural Research in Cancer Control Conference will commence at the Crowne Plaza Adelaide this Wednesday (May 8), with the three-day event to welcome over 150 leading cancer researchers and health professionals from interstate and overseas.

The conference will provide a platform for top behavioural researchers to share their latest research findings to help inform future population health strategies aimed at improving diagnosis, and reducing cancer prevalence and distress within the community.

World-renowned cancer screening expert Dr Heather Bryant, Vice President of Cancer Control at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, will be one of the keynote speakers.

“There has been great progress in cancer screening over the past couple of decades and we’ve seen changes in mortality from breast and cervical cancer as a result,” said Dr Bryant.

“The conference will allow an opportunity to discuss these issues and to consider how best to move forward to ensure the best health impacts from our current efforts.”

Other keynote speakers at the conference will include:

  • Professor Robin Room, a prominent sociologist who has directed alcohol and drug research centres in the US, Canada, Sweden and Australia. An advisor to the World Health Organisation since 1975 and Professor at the University of Melbourne, Professor Room will discuss more effective interventions to reduce the cancer risks associated with alcohol consumption.
  • Associate Professor Penny Schofield, a behavioural scientist from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, will share her experience in behavioural, psycho-social, quality of life and supportive care research in cancer.
  • Louise Sylvan, Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Government’s Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA), who will discuss the ANPHA’s priorities for the future, including synergies and opportunities for collaboration and social marketing, and opportunities and challenges in preventive health.
  • Dr Cleola Anderiez, General Manager of Knowledge Management at Cancer Australia, who will talk about future research funding opportunities in Australia.

Dozens of other presentations will also occur between Wednesday and Friday from behavioural researchers working across a broad range of cancer control areas, including tobacco, physical activity, alcohol, nutrition, screening and sun protection.

“This is the first Behavioural Research in Cancer Control Conference to be held in Australia in three years, so there will be a lot of new research to share and learn from,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA.

“Behavioural research is different to clinical cancer research in that it seeks to discover how people can be encouraged to change unhealthy behaviours, whether it be through environmental or behavioural factors, that may increase their risk of cancer.

“This will be the first year that alcohol in relation to cancer will be presented as a keynote topic reflecting the growing body of research in this area and the need to find better ways of addressing alcohol over-consumption as a population health issue.”

Note to editors: Keynote speaker abstracts and the full conference program are available from the conference website at

Media contact: Anna Mazzone on +61 08 8291 4119 (diverts) or