Cancer website launched for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Australia’s first comprehensive cancer website developed by and for Indigenous Australians has officially launched in a bid to boost health outcomes and care across the country.
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy launched the Our Mob and Cancer website which provides culturally-safe support and information for patients, their families, communities and health professionals.
The website includes critical information about how cancer affects Our Mob, ways to protect against cancer, types of cancer, diagnosis, treatment and living with cancer, how cancer spreads and where to get help and support.
In 2015-2019, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were 1.4 times more likely to die from cancer compared to non-Indigenous Australians and they experience higher incidence rates, and lower participation rates in bowel, breast, and cervical cancer population screening programs.
The website also includes information about culturally sensitive topics around Sorry Business, Men’s and Women’s Business and Shame, and how these relate to cancer and associated health outcomes.
A section of the website provides guidance for health professionals on providing culturally appropriate optimal cancer care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer patients and the importance of this in supporting the best cancer outcomes possible.
Indigenous Australian artist Riki Salam created the website’s artwork ‘Hope and Healing for Country,’ to help visitors of the site feel welcome.
Assistant Minister for Indigenous Health, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy said, “Cancer places a heavy burden not only on those diagnosed with the disease but also their families, carers, Elders and the community.”
“By using a strength-based, culturally-focussed approach that reflects our resilience and values, the Our Mob and Cancer platform hopes to engage more effectively with community and answer the needs of Indigenous Australians with cancer and their families.”
“More culturally appropriate and safe information about prevention, early detection, screening, treatment and support can directly translate into better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
Professor Dorothy Keefe, the CEO of Cancer Australia also said, “To guide and design the project from inception, Cancer Australia has incorporated the voices and experiences of Indigenous Australians affected by cancer, the Community, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Expert Reference Group, and Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control.
“We have built an extensive range of culturally respectful and safe resources, awareness messaging, videos and guidance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”