Tangible change for reconciliation: Empowering community to tackle cancer together
By Cancer Council NSW
This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June 2023) is Be a Voice for Generations.
At Cancer Council NSW we want to use our voice to support and improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across NSW, by creating culturally safe and responsive programs and services.
We are committed to reconciliation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and supporting improved cancer screening participation rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in order to reduce the inequalities in cancer outcomes.
Raising cancer awareness and understanding in community is key
Cancer screening among Indigenous Australians is improving
This National Reconciliation Week, we’re taking the opportunity to raise awareness of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. When diagnosed early through screening, bowel cancer is one of the most treatable cancers with 9 in 10 cases being treated successfully.
Historically, screening rates have been lower in First Nations communities due to multiple barriers to access. And this lower screening rate is a contributing factor behind why bowel cancer survival is lower for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples than for non-Indigenous Australians.
But there is good news. This is already changing for the better. According to Anita Dessaix, Cancer Council NSW’s Director of Cancer Prevention and Advocacy, “There has been some progress made with a pathway co-designed and co-delivered with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups. We need to do more of what works, to reduce disparities in bowel cancer survival.
“We’re here to support everyone to reduce their cancer risk and get the information and support they need”, explains Anita. “If you’ve got a bowel cancer screening kit sitting in the drawer, don’t delay. Take the test because it could save your life.”.
Be a Voice for Generations: This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week encourages all Australians to be a voice for reconciliation in tangible ways in our everyday lives – where we live, work and socialise.
For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tailored information, visit our Aboriginal Portal.