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  • Celebrating 20 years and 61,000 lives saved

    23 May 2013

    Today, as thousands of people across Australia enjoy their morning teas, we will celebrate the 61,000 lives that have been saved, thanks to the community’s support over the last 20 years.

    Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea celebrates a milestone today, reaching 20 years of bringing people together to share a cuppa and help fund the work of Cancer Council SA, which is making a difference for more than 9,300 South Australians diagnosed with cancer each year.

    A recent Cancer Council study revealed that 61,000 Australian lives have been saved by improvements in cancer prevention, screening and treatment over the past 20 years. This showed an overall reduction of about 30% in cancer deaths, with the largest reductions for lung, bowel and breast cancers.

    Acting Chief Executive of Cancer Council SA, Troy Flower, says that these new findings could not have been made possible without the help of the community.

    “It’s an inspiration to us that thousands of homes and businesses across the state are coming together to raise funds, which will continue to make these life saving advances possible,” says Troy.

    “If you have hosted or attended a morning tea over the last 20 years you have brought us closer to beating cancer. Thank you.

    “It is clear that the combined advances in cancer prevention, research and treatment are working and saving lives, and we can’t thank you enough for your support. We look forward to the next 20 years, as we discover more breakthroughs in the fight to beat cancer.”

    Every day, Cancer Council SA is funding high quality research, through the Beat Cancer Project, that is only made possible by the generosity of the South Australian community and through events such as Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.

    One of these researchers is Dr Michael Michael, from the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, who is looking at how environmental factors, especially diet, play a significant role in the development of bowel cancer.

    “This project looks into different diets and how they may impact cancer due to biological changes in the body,” says Dr Michael.

    “We are focusing on the effects of butyrate - a product which is produced in high-fibre diets and specifically kills cancer cells.

    “Understanding how butyrate kills cancer cells will further validate the benefits of a high-fibre diet and help to support public health campaigns aimed at improving nutrition.

    “Seeing how research has helped to reduce cancer deaths over the last 20 years gives me even more inspiration in my work. I have the opportunity to help saves lives, by enhancing cancer prevention or developing new therapies, and few things can match that feeling.”

    Cancer Council SA will celebrate Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea today in Rundle Mall with the help of Cancer Council Ambassador Graeme Goodings and members of the Australian Defence Force. Staff and volunteers will be collecting donations from the public in exchange for warm scones with jam and hot tea or coffee.

    The Cancer Council Shop at Regent Arcade is also hosting their own Biggest Morning Tea offering tea, coffee and a variety of morning tea snacks. Look out for the giant mug and tea bag to join in the celebrations!

    If you can’t get to a morning tea today, visit www.biggestmorningtea.com.au to donate or register to host your own event any time during May or June.

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