NACCHO Prevention News: Bowel and breast screening saves lives


“Apunipima supports the resources for Indigenous communities, because talking about sensitive health topics can be shame. Having resources that translate into traditional language makes it more comfortable for people to understand the importance of such screenings. Cancers such as bowel cancer and breast cancer are big problems for our people and screening and finding them early, before they spread, can really help ”

Apunipima Public Health Medical Advisor Dr Mark Wenitong 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Cape York and throughout Australia are being reminded of the importance of breast and bowel cancer screenings.

A series of translated free resources promoting the importance of screenings is now available in traditional languages from the Federal Government’s National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. These include fact sheets, key message cards and audio segments in various traditional languages including Torres Strait Islander Creole and Warlpiri.

It is important that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know that having a screening test is the best way to detect the cancers.

Creative Director of Indigenous Translations Naomi Gothard said the resources are invaluable to remind people in community that they shouldn’t put off being tested. The new translated resources allow these messages to reach even more people, she said.

“Communicating vital health messages is key when it comes to the health of our mob in Cape York,” Dr Mark said. “It gives them the knowledge and power to put their own health in their own hands.”

You can order free copies of the breast cancer and bowel cancer audio CDs, fact sheets or key message cards by emailing: If you would like to find out more about cancer screening, visit your local doctor or health service.

For more information on bowel cancer screening, visit, or call 1800 11 88 68.

For breast screens call 13 20 50 and make an appointment at your nearest BreastScreen Australia clinic.

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