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The program aimed to explore the levels of interest among Indigenous people with cancer in identifying cancer risk in their family and seeking genetic counselling.
Quantitative data was collected via face-to-face interviews from Indigenous adult cancer patients taking part in a study investigating their supportive care needs to investigate the participants’ family history of cancer and their willingness to discuss about cancer risk in their family.
Two hundred and twenty five Indigenous patients with cancer were interviewed. Overall, participants were mainly female (56%), with an average age of 53 years (range 20-78 years), had an educational level less than high school, (66%), were married (47%), unemployed (75%) and lived outer regional areas (41%). Seventy three per cent (73%) of participants reported having family history of cancer, of those, 50% had a first degree relative with cancer. Overall, 68% of participants indicated concern about relatives being affected by cancer and more than half of the participants (55.2%) indicated they would like to have discussions about cancer risk in their family with a specialist.
The findings suggest that a large number Indigenous cancer patients do have family history of cancer and appeared to be willing to undergo genetic counselling or investigation.
Abstract adapted from Clinical Oncology Society of Australia
Menzies School of Health Research
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