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Key references

References for the key publications about cancer among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are listed here.


Castles S, Wainer Z, Jayasekara H (2016)

Risk factors for cancer in the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population: a systematic review.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 22(3): 190-197

Thewes B, McCaffery K, Davis E, Garvey G (2016)

Insufficient evidence on health literacy amongst Indigenous people with cancer: a systematic literature review.

Health Promotion International; Advance access(


Cancer Australia (2015)

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer framework.

Sydney: Cancer Australia

The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer framework provides guidance for individuals, communities, organisations and governments to address disparities and improve cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The framework is designed to support national, jurisdictional, regional and local efforts to improve Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer outcomes, including cancer plans and related policies, frameworks and action plans. It sets out priority areas for action with a flexible approach that allows for local context and needs.

The framework covers the full range of cancer control, including cancer prevention, screening and early detection, diagnosis and treatment, palliative care and survivorship; and the policy, systems, research and infrastructure that surround these service areas.

Abstract adapted from Cancer Australia

Diaz A, Whop LJ, Valery PC, Moore SP, Cunningham J, Garvey G, Condon JR (2015)

Cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in rural and remote areas.

Australian Journal of Rural Health; 23(1): 4-18

Gibson O, Lisy K, Davy C, Aromataris E, Kite E, Lockwood C, Riitano D, McBride K, Brown A (2015)

Enablers and barriers to the implementation of primary health care interventions for Indigenous people with chronic diseases: a systematic review.

Implementation Science; 10: 71

Retrieved 22 May 2015 from

Tranberg R, Alexander S, Hatcher D, Mackey S, Shahid S, Holden L, Kwok C (2015)

Factors influencing cancer treatment decision-making by indigenous peoples: a systematic review.

Psycho-Oncology; Early View(


Condon JR, Zhang X, Baade P, Griffiths K, Cunningham J, Roder DM, Coory M, Jelfs PL, Threlfall T (2014)

Cancer survival for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: a national study of survival rates and excess mortality.

Population Health Metrics; 12(1): 1-11

This article aims to validate analysis methods and report cancer survival rates for Indigenous Australians as a basis for regular national reporting. Currently, national cancer survival statistics are available for the total Australian population but not Indigenous Australians, although their cancer mortality rates are known to be higher than those of other Australians.

National cancer registrations data was used to calculate all-cancer and site-specific relative survival for Indigenous Australians (compared with non-Indigenous Australians) diagnosed in 2001-2005.

Results found survival was lower for Indigenous than non-Indigenous Australians for all cancers combined and for many cancer sites. Survival was lower for rural and remote than urban residents; this disparity was much greater for Indigenous people.

Abstract adapted from Population Health Metrics

Treloar C, Gray R, Brener L, Jackson C, Saunders V, Johnson P, Harris M, Butow P, Newman C (2014)

“I can't do this, it's too much”: building social inclusion in cancer diagnosis and treatment experiences of Aboriginal people, their carers and health workers.

International Journal of Public Health; 59(2): 373-379

The aim of this paper was to explore the cancer care experiences of Indigenous people in New South Wales. It used a social inclusion lens to understand how people at the margins of society engage with services proved. The data included information from interviews conducted with 22 Indigenous people with cancer, 18 carers of Indigenous people and 16 health care workers.

The study highlighted three factors which were important influences of social inclusion:

  • socio-economic security
  • trust (or mistrust arising from historic and current experience of discrimination)
  • difficulties in knowing the system of cancer treatment.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Cancer Australia (2013)

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia: an overview.

Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

This report provides a comprehensive summary of population-level cancer statistics across a number of states and territories in Australia for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples alongside comparative figures for non-Indigenous Australians.

The report aims to highlight key cancer statistics to inform health professionals, policy makers, health planners, educators, researchers and the broader public of the relevant data in order to understand and work towards reducing the impact of cancer for Indigenous Australians.

The report identifies significant differences between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians cancer rates and examines the 10 most commonly diagnosed cancers. It also looks at the 10 most commonly reported causes of cancer deaths for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia and identifies differences between gender and across age groups.

Abstract adapted from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

Condon J, Garvey G, Whop L, Valery P, Thomas D, Gruen R, Cunningham J (2013)

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and cancer.

Cancer Forum; 37(1): 27-30

Valery PC, Youlden DR, Baade PD, Ward LJ, Green AC, Aitken JF (2013)

Cancer survival in Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children: what is the difference?.

Cancer Causes & Control; 24(12): 2099-2106


Cancer Australia (2012)

Study of breast cancer screening characteristics and breast cancer survival in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women of Australia.

Surry Hills, NSW: Cancer Australia

This report presents the findings from two studies on breast cancer screening and survival rates in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women living in Australia.

For the first study, data for the years 1996-2005, collected from the state and territory BreastScreen agencies was used to compare screening, assessment and outcomes for 50-69 year old women by Indigenous status. Adjustments were made for differences in age, socio-economic status, remoteness and screening period to ascertain whether the less favorable outcomes for Indigenous women were due to these factors.

In the second study, invasive breast cancer survivals were compared by Indigenous status with other women who participated in the BreastScreen program.

The results identify areas where future work is required to improve the outcomes for Indigenous women. The data presented in the report provides a baseline for future monitoring and an evidence-base to inform health policy, health promotion and health services for Australian Indigenous women.

Adapted from Cancer Australia

Cancer Institute NSW (2012)

Cancer in NSW Aboriginal peoples: incidence, mortality and survival.

Sydney: Cancer Institute NSW

This report presents estimates of incidence of cancer and mortality for Aboriginal people as recorded in the NSW Central Cancer Registry. It provides specific information about a number of different cancers.

Details about survival after cancer are included. This report augments another report, Cancer in NSW Aboriginal peoples: completeness and quality of Aboriginal status data on the NSW Central Cancer Registry.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Zhang X, Condon J, Douglas F, Bates D, Guthridge, Lindy Garling L, Enciso G, Chondur R (2012)

Women's cancers and cancer screening in the Northern Territory.

Darwin: Northern Territory Department of Health

This report presents statistical information on the ten most common cancers affecting women in the Northern Territory (NT), including participation rates for NT women in cervical and breast screening programs, and the outcomes from these programs. Cancer incidence, mortality, and survival rates for Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, with comparisons of screening statistics for the NT and those for Australia as a whole are included. Data is also presented for specific age-groups, regional areas, and time periods.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Thompson SC, Shahid S, Bessarab D, Durey A, Davidson PM (2011)

Not just bricks and mortar: planning hospital cancer services for Aboriginal people.

BMC Research Notes; 4: 62

Retrieved 14 March 2011 from


Moore SP, O’Rourke PK, Mallitt K-A, Garvey G, Green AC, Coory MD, Valery PC (2010)

Cancer incidence and mortality in Indigenous Australians in Queensland, 1997–2006.

Medical Journal of Australia; 193(10): 590-593

Last updated: 31 August 2016
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