Cancer Council NSW is investigating the cancer experiences of Aboriginal people in NSW through the Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care project (APOCC). This project is being funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) through a Health Services Research Grant and Cancer Institute NSW through a Cancer Epidemiology Linkage Grant. Although it is well documented that cancer is the second most common cause of death for Aboriginal people, very little was known about the cancer experiences of Aboriginal people in NSW.
Aims of the APOCC project
This project aims to explore the reasons for the increased death rate from cancer for Aboriginal people in NSW. Is it due to later diagnosis of cancer, different treatments received, or a combination of both? The project aims to:
- Determine whether Aboriginal people are being diagnosed with cancer at later stages
- Describe any barriers to Aboriginal people being diagnosed earlier and accessing cancer care
- Describe the care that Aboriginal people with cancer are currently receiving
- Compare the level and types of care with that received by non-Aboriginal people.
Cancer Treatment for Aboriginal People
Findings from the APOCC & University of New South Wales Qualitative Interview Study suggest that Aboriginal people may be reluctant to undergo cancer treatment due to fear and confusion about the health system, in addition to practical barriers such as lack of transport and accommodation. This highlights the need for health services and organisations like Cancer Council NSW to work with Aboriginal communities to overcome these barriers.
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