Outside of the lab, you may be surprised to hear researchers are working hard to improve breast cancer outcomes using maths and data!
Professor David Roder from the University of South Australia hopes to use his work to ensure women diagnosed with breast cancer have access to appropriate health services.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer reported in Australian women, with 1 in 7 women diagnosed in their lifetime.
Prof Roder’s research will analyse breast cancer trends from the past 15 years to help predict the future needs of women diagnosed with this terrible disease.
“Needs for services are changing for many reasons, including population growth, changes to screening and treatment, and other advances in the delivery of cancer services,” Prof Roder said.
These demands provide challenges for health-service planning and highlights a need for accurate predictions for policy makers, service providers and researchers to better prepare services that will be required in the future.
Prof Roder’s work will be compared to existing predictive models to test their accuracy.
Predictive models are important to forecast future events and outcomes, backed by scientifically-proven mathematical statistics.
This helps ensure the best services are available to meet the needs of patients, doctors and researchers.
“A lot of research is being done on breast cancer biology, screening and treatment. This leads to the development of new custom treatments, and surgical and radiotherapy protocols,” Prof Roder said.
“For patients to benefit from these advances, we need to understand how they will affect service requirements so that patients can actually access the best treatments and have better outcomes that will save lives.”
Thanks to your support, this project can proceed and be applied in South Australia, and hopefully extend to other cancers across Australia to improve care for even more people in our community!