The importance of cancer screening for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities is the key focus of this year’s Multicultural Health Week.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard launched an awareness campaign, ‘Cancer screening saves lives’, aimed at increasing screening rates among CALD communities of breast, cervical and bowel cancer.
“The NSW Government is committed to continuing to improve cancer outcomes, and in April released the fifth NSW Cancer Plan, which has an increased focus on improving equity for CALD and other priority populations,” Hazzard said.
“Screening for cancer and catching it early is the best chance of survival and I encourage everyone who is eligible, particularly those in CALD communities, to get screened. The tests are free, easy to access and save lives.
“In 2022-23 the NSW Government will provide about $175 million through the Cancer Institute NSW to reduce the impact of cancer and improve outcomes for patients.”
The NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, in partnership with the Cancer Institute NSW, has produced new in-language resources about cancer screening to encourage more people to screen for cancers.
Professor Tracey O’Brien, Chief Cancer Officer NSW and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW said that it was important to address the barriers that are preventing people from CALD communities from screening for cancers.
“We know that there are specific barriers for CALD communities participating in screening. These include low awareness, language barriers, differing beliefs around cancer and stigma associated with cancer,” Professor O’Brien said.
“We are really proud to partner with NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, with the support of SBS and multicultural media, together with community groups, to start to break down these barriers and improve cancer outcomes for CALD communities.”
Lisa Woodland, Director of the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Service, said that significant effort has been invested in making cancer information available in multiple languages with support from Cancer Institute NSW.
“This process included extensive testing with key stakeholders, and health literacy principles were incorporated throughout the development and translation phases,” Woodland said.
This year, to also encourage participation in screening programs, the Multicultural Health Week 2022 Community Grants Program provided small grants of $1,500 to 21 organisations (local health districts, non-government and community organisations) to support community engagement and educational activities in multiple languages in local and regional areas.
A series of multilingual cancer screening resources were launched for Multicultural for Health Week 2022, including:
These multilingual resources are available to download for free at multiculturalhealthweek.com.
Content from NSW Health media release. Note: Content has been edited for style and length.