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Despite a similar incidence of cancers, Indigenous Australians have higher mortality rates and poorer survival compared to other Australians. The reasons for this are multi-faceted and may be due to later cancer stage at diagnosis, reduced uptake of or access to treatment, increased comorbidities, and higher rates of more aggressive cancers, however, little is known about these.
This study is a research project being conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research.The aim of the study is to investigate the patterns of care, quality of life, and comorbidities in Indigenous people with cancers and compare them with non-Indigenous cancer patients, and against clinical guidelines.
Primarily the study will identify factors that are modifiable (those related to health services). As part of this work the study will explore health care professionals' perspectives about Indigenous and non-Indigenous patients who commenced treatment to examine their clinical decision-making, particularly in the context of comorbidity, Indigeneity and geographical isolation from cancer care services; and those who did not commence treatment to examine their reasons for non-uptake or non-completion. The study will also explore the patients' perspective about their treatment: their experiences and understanding of cancer and treatment choices (including reasons for uptake of specific treatment option).
Abstract adapted from Menzies School of Health Research
Menzies School of Health Research
National Indigenous Cancer Network