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Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care Project



The Patterns of Cancer care for Aboriginal People (APOCC) project is being run by Cancer Council New South Wales (NSW) to investigate the reason for the increasing number of deaths from cancer in Aboriginal people in NSW. The focus areas include:

There are five stages to the project:

Abstract adapted from Cancer Council NSW


Cancer Council NSW
APOCC Project
Ph: 1800 247 209

Related publications

Weir K, Supramaniam R, Gibberd A, Dillon A, Armstrong BK, O'Connell DL (2016)

Comparing colorectal cancer treatment and survival for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in New South Wales.

Medical Journal of Australia; 204(4): 156e1-156e8

Gibberd A, Supramaniam R, Dillon A, Armstrong BK, O'Connell DL (2016)

Lung cancer treatment and mortality for Aboriginal people in New South Wales, Australia: results from a population-based record linkage study and medical record audit.

BMC Cancer; 16: 289

Retrieved 25 April 2016 from

Newman CE, Gray R, Brener L, Jackson LC, Dillon A, Saunders V, Johnson P, Treloar C (2016)

'I had a little bit of a bloke meltdown...but the next day, I was up': understanding cancer experiences among Aboriginal men.

Cancer Nursing; Published ahead of print(

Rodger JC, Supramaniam R, Gibberd AJ, Smith DP, Armstrong BK, Dillon A, O'Connell DL (2015)

Prostate cancer mortality outcomes and patterns of primary treatment for Aboriginal men in New South Wales, Australia.

BJU International; 115(Supplement S5): 16-23

Gibberd A, Supramaniam R, Dillon A, Armstrong BK, O’Connell DL (2015)

Are Aboriginal people more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced cancer?.

Medical Journal of Australia; 202(4): 195-199

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:

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Supramaniam R, Gibberd A, Dillon A, Goldsbury DE, O Connell DL (2014)

Increasing rates of surgical treatment and preventing comorbidities may increase breast cancer survival for Aboriginal women.

BMC Cancer; 14: 163

Retrieved 7 March 2014 from

Newman CE, Gray R, Brener L, Jackson LC, Johnson P, Saunders V, Harris M, Butow P, Treloar C (2013)

One size fits all? The discursive framing of cultural difference in health professional accounts of providing cancer care to Aboriginal people.

Ethnicity & Health; 18(4): 433-447

This paper identifies recurrent patterns of 'discursive framing' in interviews with health care professionals. It highlighted the reliance of familiar narratives about cancer care services that may not be culturally suited to Indigenous people affected by cancer.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Treloar C, Gray R, Brener L, Jackson C, Saunders V, Johnson P, Harris M, Butow P, Newma C (2013)

Health literacy in relation to cancer: addressing the silence about and absence of cancer discussion among Aboriginal people, communities and health services.

Health & Social Care in the Community; 21(6): 655–664

This study examined individual, social and cultural aspects of health literacy relevant to cancer among Indigenous patients, carers and their health workers in New South Wales. It aimed to inform communication and help highlight how beliefs can shape responses to cancer.

The data was collected from interviews conducted with 22 Indigenous people who had been diagnosed with cancer, 18 people who were carers of Indigenous people with cancer and 16 healthcare workers (eight Aboriginal and eight non-Aboriginal health workers).

The results showed that awareness, knowledge and experience of cancer were largely absent from people's lives and experiences until they were diagnosed, and that Indigenous views on cancer (particularly equating cancer to death) differed from mainstream non - Indigenous views.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Supramaniam R (2012)

Closing the information gap: using APOCC Data to inform change.

Paper presented at the Living longer stronger: AH&MRC chronic disease conference 2012. 2012, Sydney

Newman C, Treloar C, Brener L, Ellard J, O'Connell D, Butow P, Supramaniam R, Dillon A (2008)

Aboriginal patterns of cancer care: a five-year study in New South Wales.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 32(3): 6-7


Last updated: 13 March 2018
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