New data released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare today shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are more likely to die from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Australians are more likely to be diagnosed with cancers associated with preventable risk factors.
In response to the new research, Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia said:
“This Close the Gap Day we need to recognise the stark disparities in cancer outcomes between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians.
“Not only are Indigenous Australians more likely to be diagnosed with cancers that are preventable, but they are also more likely to die after a cancer diagnosis.
“As a community, we particularly need to focus more of our efforts on reducing the disparities when it comes to liver and lung cancer – which are much more common in our Indigenous communities and are predominantly preventable. Higher smoking rates in Indigenous Australians is the major underlying cause of a higher number of lung cancer cases and deaths. Smoking is also a contributor to liver cancer risk, alongside high alcohol intake and Hepatitis C and Hepatitis C infection.
“Cancer Council welcomes the $184 million recently injected by the Australian Government into Indigenous anti-smoking measures – but clearly there is so much more to be done to reduce these disparities. We need to work together with the Indigenous community and across all sectors to promote cancer prevention, reduce cancer stigma, reduce Hepatitis B and C infection rates, promote uptake of Hepatitis C treatments, promote cancer screening and early detection, and ensure all members of the community get the very best cancer care and support.”
Source: Cancer Council