Australia

Shorten promises $125m for cancer cures

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is promising to spend more funding research into a cure for cancer. Source: AAP

Labor leader Bill Shorten is promising to give an extra $125 million to cancer researchers if his party wins the federal election.

Australia's world-class cancer researchers will get an extra $125 million to fund the search for a cure if Labor wins the federal election.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will announce the funding promise on Friday, on the second day of the election campaign.

Mr Shorten said 150,000 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer every year.

"That's why Labor will provide more investment in critical funding for our researchers," he said.

The funding promise includes $20 million to research pancreatic cancer.

"Pancreatic cancer will be Australia's second biggest cancer killer in five years - killing almost as many people each year as breast cancer," Mr Shorten said.

"Sadly, the five year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is less than 10 per cent."

The cash injection will mean a comprehensive strategy can be developed to find ways of detecting pancreatic cancer earlier and understand why the cancer is resistant to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Labor is campaigning hard on healthcare in a bid to win over voters worried about out-of-pocket costs, ahead of the May 18 election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week talked up his own healthcare credentials, including his record of putting lifesaving medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Last week's federal budget included funding for two new medicines to save people from rare cancers.

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