Almost all of us have experienced the devastating personal effects of disease or the suffering of a relative or friend. Along with the painful emotional and physical costs for family and friends, there are also the massive financial costs to the community in providing medical care and support for those suffering disease or disability.
And today, serious diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity, immunological diseases, neurological diseases, and osteoporosis represent a major problem for our community, particularly with a population that is living longer because of past advances in medical research and treatment.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women. It is also the primary cause of female cancer deaths, with one in 11 Australian women developing breast cancer before the age of 75 years. Although the incidence of breast cancer is still on the rise, more Australian women are surviving breast cancer than ever before. Significant advances in the early detection and treatment of breast cancer mean that more women are surviving the disease than ever before.
Garvan is at the forefront of medical research in these areas in Australia and internationally, and will be the most advanced institute in the nation in the application of genomic information to medicine. It is our aim to translate our research discoveries into clinical practice as soon as possible. To do this we must recruit the most talented researchers from within Australia and around the world; and support our research teams with the most up-to-date technology and facilities.
With more than six hundred scientists, students and support staff, our aim is to deliver new insights into major diseases and find novel ways to prevent and treat these disorders, to improve the health of Australians and the global community.
Medical research has already made a profound difference to our lives. Over the past 20 years we have seen the survival rate of many common cancers increase by up to 30%. A gift to Garvan allows our scientists to continue contributing to knowledge which will ultimately lead to earlier diagnosis, better disease management, new therapies and prevention or cure of a range of diseases and cancers.
Week by week, research may seem slow and frustrating; but then you have wonderful breakthroughs, and decade by decade the changes are enormous. With your help, the next ten years will see huge progress in the understanding of human biology and in the development of new ways to overcome disease.