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        • » A comparative study of the patterns of care, comorbidities and quality of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with cancer

A comparative study of the patterns of care, comorbidities and quality of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with cancer



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 was a research project being conducted by the Menzies School of Health Research.The aim of the study was 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.

Findings from the medical chart review work suggest that treatment, comorbidities and stage at diagnosis explain most of the poorer cancer outcomes among Indigenous patients. There is a need for a greater understanding of the reasons for delays in diagnosis, and to explain why less cancer treatments are provided (reduced uptake or access to treatment, or this is confounded by un/measured comorbidity). The effect of comorbidity on survival differences need to be fully quantified.

Abstract adapted from Menzies School of Health Research


Menzies School of Health Research
National Indigenous Cancer Network

Related publications

Moore S (2010)

A comparative study of cancer incidence, diagnosis, treatment and survival between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Queensland.

Doctor of Philosophy thesis, The University of Queensland: Brisbane

Moore SP, Green AC, Garvey G, Coory MD, Valery PC (2011)

A study of head and neck cancer treatment and survival among Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Queensland, Australia, 1998 to 2004.

BMC Cancer; 11: 460

Retrieved 25 October 2011 from

Cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland 1997– 2006: incidence and mortality (2011)

Moore S, O'Rourke P, Mallitt K, Garvey G, Green A, Coory M, Valery P

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

Whop LJ, Garvey G, Lokuge K, Mallitt KA, Valery PC (2012)

Cancer support services – are they appropriate and accessible for Indigenous cancer patients in Queensland, Australia?.

Rural and Remote Health; 12: 2018

Retrieved 7 August 2012 from

Moore SP, Green AC, Bray F, Garvey G, Coory M, Martin J, Valery PC (2014)

Survival disparities in Australia: an analysis of patterns of care and comorbidities among Indigenous and non-Indigenous cancer patients.

BMC Cancer; 14: 517

Retrieved 18 July 2014 from

Mooi JK, Whop LJ, Valery PC, Sabesan SS (2012)

Teleoncology for Indigenous patients: the responses of patients and health workers.

Australian Journal of Rural Health; 20(5): 265-269


Last updated: 27 October 2015
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