NACCHO Aboriginal Women’s Health #BreastCancerAwareness #getChecked : 1.Download #Indigenous Resources from @CancerAustralia and 2.NACCHO supports this Sundays #StandWithMeAtTheG #FieldOfWomen @bcnapinklady

If I hadn’t been diagnosed with breast cancer I wouldn’t be here today. People forget that Aboriginal women get breastcancer. We need Aboriginal women to get themselves checked because there is treatment available and it can save your life “

Aunty Pam Pedersen speaking at the Peter Maccallam Cancer Centre signing of a MOU with VACCHO August 9

Twenty years ago, breast cancer was not often talked about publicly. It was discussed in whispers, and many women spoke of a feeling of shame at diagnosis.

Women felt like a number, not an individual, and were subjected to radical surgery. They were given little information and even less support. They held little hope for a future.

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) began during this time, born out of one woman’s determination to make the breast cancer journey better.

Others soon joined her cause, and for 20 years, BCNA has worked tirelessly to ensure every Australian diagnosed with breast cancer receives the very best support, information, treatment and care.

Today, BCNA is the peak national organisation for Australians affected by breast cancer.”

#StandWithMeAtTheG this Sunday. This year, 18,235 Aussies will hear the words,‘You have breast cancer’. #FieldOfWomen brings these stats to life as women, men and children stand together on the @MCG in the shape of the @bcnapinklady.

View Video Here

Australia’s Lots to live for video on social media will start a conversation between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about breast cancer and how early detection can save lives.

If you are an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, it is vitally important you know the normal look and feel of your breasts, the symptoms to look out for and the importance of seeing their doctor if you find a change.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in Australia, including among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, yet Indigenous women are 16 per cent less likely to survive than non-Indigenous women.”

Professor Jacinta Elston ( breast cancer survivor )  Chair of the Cancer Australia Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control : She is a descendent of both the Kalkadoon people of North-West Queensland and the South Sea Islander people.

See full report below

About 3 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are diagnosed with cancer every day. Indigenous Australians have a slightly lower rate of cancer diagnosis but are almost 30 per cent more likely to die from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians1.

Cancer Australia is committed to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to reduce the impact of cancer on Indigenous Australians.

Our work includes:

  • raising awareness of risk factors and promoting awareness and early detection for the community
  • developing evidence-based information and resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer and health professionals
  • providing evidence-based cancer information and training resources to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers
  • increasing understanding of best-practice health care and support, and
  • supporting research.

We have a range of resources which provide information to support you and the work you do:

 

See Key Facts Breast cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women or Part 2 Below

A new breast awareness video designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to share with family and friends on social media aims to increase early detection of breast cancer and improve survival.

Cancer Australia CEO, Dr Helen Zorbas, said the video, titled Lots to live for, had been produced to put vital knowledge about the importance of breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities.

“Finding breast cancer early, while it is still confined to the breast, significantly increases the chances of survival,” Dr Zorbas said. “Early detection of breast cancer through breast awareness and increasing participation in mammographic screening are important ways to improve survival outcomes and address the disparity in breast cancer survival between Indigenous and non-Indigenous women.”

Professor Jacinta Elston, Chair of the Cancer Australia Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control, and an Aboriginal woman from Townsville, supported the video’s message and encouraged women to share it on social media.

“Studies have shown that social media has been used effectively in getting health messages out into our community,” Professor Elston said.

See opening message

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged between 50 and 74 years are also encouraged to have a free breast screen every two years. Mammographic screening is the best early detection test for reducing deaths from breast cancer.”

Professor Elston, who is herself a breast cancer survivor, acknowledged that some Indigenous women may be reluctant to discuss a breast change, due to shame, embarrassment, fear or stigma, but that this could seriously impact on their breast cancer outcomes.

“Changes in your breast may not be due to cancer, but if you find a change that is new or unusual, it’s important to see a doctor without delay,” Professor Elston said. “We need to look after our health – for ourselves and our families.”

The Lots to live for video, which features NITV’s Marngrook Footy Show presenter Leila Gurruwiwi, is designed to be easily accessible and shareable on social media platforms widely used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

“Cancer Australia is committed to improving cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples,” Dr Zorbas said.

Visit www.canceraustralia.gov.au/atsi for more information.

Part 2 Key Facts Breast cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Key statistics

Incidence

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.
  • The number of breast cancer diagnoses among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women increased by over 60% between the years 2004-08 and 2008-12.

Survival

  • The breast cancer survival rate was 16% lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women than for non-Indigenous women between 2006-2010.

Mortality

  • Breast cancer was the second leading cause of cancer death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women after lung cancer (between 2007 and 2011).
  • In 2010-2014, there were 154 deaths from breast cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in Australia.

Factors affecting breast cancer outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women:

  • are less likely than non-Indigenous women to have a screening mammogram
  • may choose not to visit a doctor when they notice changes in their breasts.
  • are less likely to undergo cancer treatment
  • are less likely to complete cancer treatment
  • are more likely to have 1 or more other health problems such as heart disease and/or diabetes.

As a result of these factors, breast cancer may be more advanced when diagnosed.

Key messages

Finding breast cancer early

  1. Breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women
  • Finding breast cancer early means there are more treatment options and the chances of survival are greatest.
  • More than half of breast cancers are diagnosed after a woman or her doctor notices a change in the breast.
  • This shows how important it is that women are aware of the normal look and feel of their breasts and are confident in reporting unusual breast changes.

How can Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women get to know the normal look and feel of their breasts?

  • Women of all ages, daughters, mothers, aunties and grandmothers, are encouraged to get to know the normal look and feel of their breast.
  • They don’t need to be an expert or know a special way to check their breasts. They can do this as part of everyday activities such as dressing, looking in the mirror, or showering.

Changes to look out for

There are a number of changes to look out for:

  • A new lump or lumpiness
  • A change in the size or shape of your breast
  • A change in the nipple
  • Discharge from the nipple
  • Any unusual pain
  • A change in the skin of your breast

What to do if women find a change?

While most breast changes are not due to cancer, if a woman finds a change in her breast that is new or unusual for her, it’s important to see a doctor without delay.

Screening mammograms

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women aged between 50 and 74 years are encouraged to attend mammographic breast screening every two years. Mammographic screening is the best early detection test for reducing deaths from breast cancer.

Where to go to have a breast screen?

BreastScreen Australia provides free breast screening for women 50-74 years and has services in all states and territories. To find out more call 13 20 50.

Lots to Live For!

Cancer Australia’s new video Lots to Live For was developed to put vital knowledge about the importance of breast awareness and early detection of breast cancer in the hands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and communities.

The Lots to Live For video, which features Marngrook Footy Show presenter Leila Gurruwiwi, is designed to be accessible and shareable on social media platforms widely used by Indigenous communities.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/canceraustralia/ or

https://twitter.com/CancerAustralia #LotsToLiveFor @CancerAustralia

For more information

Visihttp://www.canceraustralia.gov.au/atsi

 

 

NACCHO news alert: New Indigenous cancer centre of excellence unveiled:plus facts about Indigenous cancer

Menzies

The launch of Australia’s first Indigenous cancer research centre is set to improve the diagnosis, treatmentand survival rates for Indigenous Australians with cancer.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

SEE INDIGENOUS CANCER FACTS BELOW

Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies) has unveiled the Centre of Research Excellence (CRE), titled DISCOVER-TT, or Discovering Indigenous Strategies to improve Cancer Outcomes Via Engagement, Research Translation and Training.

Menzies’ Senior researcher, Associate Professor Gail Garvey said the launch of DISCOVER-TT in Brisbane  represented a huge step forward to improving the cancer outcomes among Indigenous cancer patients.

“Until now cancer has been a low priority on the Indigenous health agenda, despite the disease accounting for a greater number of deaths each year than diabetes and kidney disease,” A/Prof Garvey said.

“There is a clear need to improve health services for people with cancer by using the information we do have and by identifying knowledge gaps. DISCOVER-TT will allow us to bring together key researchers, health professionals, and consumer advocacy groups from across Australia, and actively promote thetranslation of research knowledge into Australian public health policy and practice.

A/Prof Garvey said that with Australian Government funding of $2.5 million over five years, DISCOVER-TTwould support both existing and new researchers – including Indigenous early-career researchers in cancer control and ensure work is relevant and applicable.

Staff from DISCOVER-TT will work alongside esteemed health researcher and former President of the Australasian Epidemiological Association, Professor Joan Cunningham and in collaboration withresearchers from several centres across Australia.

Indigenous breast cancer survivor and cancer care advocate, ‘Aunty’ Margaret Lawton from Griffith, Brisbane, joined today’s launch to raise awareness about DISCOVER-TT and Indigenous cancer.

Mrs Lawton is twice a breast cancer survivor and has been proactive in Indigenous cancer care, working asone of Breast Cancer Network Australia’s first Indigenous liaison officers, in addition to volunteering hertime in various hospitals.

“I think DISCOVER-TT is a wonderful initiative because it will bring together some of the brightest minds across a range of disciplines to improve the knowledge base about Indigenous cancer and help people living with cancer,” she said.

Cancer Australia’s CEO Professor Helen Zorbas said DISCOVER-TT represented an important initiative toimprove cancer outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

“The launch of Discover-TT is promising, exciting and illustrates the importance of cross-sectoral partnerships and their capacity to impact on policy and to improve and advance health outcomes,” she said.

Facts about Indigenous cancer

 Cancer survival is lower for Indigenous Australians than it is for non-Indigenous Australians.

It is the second leading cause of death among Indigenous people, accounting for a greater number of deaths each year than diabetes and kidney disease

The death rate for all cancers combined and for most individual cancers is significantly higher for Indigenous than other Australians: e.g. cervical cancer (4.4 times), lung cancer (1.8), pancreatic cancer (1.3) and breast cancer in females (1.3)

Indigenous Australians have a much lower incidence of some cancers compared to other Australians (breast, prostate, testicular, colorectal and brain cancer, melanoma of skin, lymphoma and leukaemia) but they have a much higher incidence of others (lung and other smoking-related cancers, cervix, uterus and liver cancer)

For example:

Cervical cancer incidence rate is almost three times as higher for Indigenous Australians as for non-Indigenous Australians (18 and 7 per 100,000 respectively).

Incidence rates of lung cancer are significantly higher for Indigenous Australians than for non-Indigenous Australians (1.9 times)

Most of the cancers that have a high occurrence among Indigenous people are preventable, including cervix, liver and smoking related cancers

Indigenous adult cancer patients have substantial unmet supportive care needs. Their highest needs include additional support with psychological and practical assistance

Basic infrastructure and logistical issues may also impede Indigenous people’s access to cancer care and treatment services. These include a lack in the provision of transport and having appropriate travel arrangements, and suitable accommodation for both the patient and their support person

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