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Indigenous Australians continue to experience much poorer cancer outcomes, despite better cancer survival rates in the wider community. The University of Western Australia's (UWA) School of Primary, Aboriginal and Rural Health Care is part of a national group that has received a five-year $2.5 million National Health and Medical Research Council grant to investigating different models of cancer treatment and how they could be used to boost Indigenous survival rates.
UWA's Winthrop Professor Sandy Thompson and Dr Shaouli Shahid said Indigenous people with cancer have similar issues to non-Indigenous people but also have distinctive care needs. They are leading a group of researchers investigating innovative models of care delivery around Australia to see if they can help other cancer treatments centres to adapt. This includes end-of-life care and training 'navigators' who can help Indigenous people navigate through the health system, from getting a positive test result after screening, to diagnosis and during all the treatment steps.
Preliminary research indicates that barriers to cancer treatment for Indigenous people include:
Source: UWA news and SBS Radio