This NAIDOC Week (5 – 12 July), Cancer Council NSW is highlighting the importance of raising cancer awareness and increasing cancer support services for Aboriginal communities.
Cancer is the second most common cause of death for Aboriginal people, who are 60 per cent more likely to die from their cancer than non-Aboriginal people.
Committed to reducing these inequalities, Cancer Council NSW is investigating the reason behind the increased death rate and assessing the cancer experiences of Aboriginal people in NSW through the Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care project (APOCC).
Insights from the research project have informed the creation of a newly launched web portal for Aboriginal people, their carers and health professionals to access information and resources to help navigate and support their cancer journey.
Dianne O’Connell, lead researcher on the project at Cancer Council NSW says;
“The APOCC project has provided a detailed understanding of the gaps in cancer care for Aboriginal people, including the barriers that are likely to prevent access to appropriate and timely cancer care.
“The findings suggest that Aboriginal people view the health system differently from non-Aboriginal people and may be reluctant to undergo cancer treatment due to fear and confusion surrounding the disease, alongside practical barriers, that can include transport to treatment, and financial barriers.
“The information on our new Aboriginal Web Portal is designed to target the gaps identified by the research, in clear and culturally appropriate formats.
“It has also been designed in consultation with Aboriginal people and includes video stories from Aboriginal researchers, cancer survivors, carers and health care workers.
“Although there is still much work to do to close the gap, the portal will help to improve access to information and resources to help break down the barriers that exist.
“Cancer Council NSW is encouraging Aboriginal communities and healthcare providers to log on to this new portal to learn more about cancer treatment, support and research for Aboriginal people”, said Professor O’Connell.
Visit the Cancer Council NSW Aboriginal Web Portal at:
For more information on the APOCC research project, visit:
Media contact details:
Airlie Winter-Irving, PR Officer Cancer Council NSW
(02) 9334 1883, 0405 415 126
Professor Dianne O’Connell, Senior Researcher, Cancer Council NSW
 Supramaniam R, Grindley H, Pulver LJ: Cancer mortality in Aboriginal people in New South Wales, Australia, 1994-2002. Aust N Z J Public Health 2006, 30:453–6.