Cancer Council Australia

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New network to push Indigenous cancer into the spotlight

A new national cancer research network aimed at improving quality of life and survival rates among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer patients in Australia has been launched at the Cancer Council Australia.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The National Indigenous Cancer Network (NICaN) will encourage and support collaboration in Indigenous cancer research and the delivery of services to Indigenous people with cancer, including carers and families.

Senior cancer researcher Associate Professor Gail Garvey of the Menzies School of Health Research said the launch, coinciding with World Cancer Day, represents a huge step forward towards closing the gap on Indigenous cancer mortality rates.

"Until now cancer has been a low priority on the Indigenous health agenda, despite the disease being the second leading cause of death among Indigenous people and accounting for a greater number of deaths each year than diabetes and kidney disease.

"We know that Indigenous people with cancer have more advanced disease when diagnosed, are less likely to receive treatment, and are more likely to die from their cancers than other Australians. There is a clear need to improve health services for people with cancer by utilising the information we do have and by identifying knowledge gaps.

"NICaN is about making sure that what's known about cancer in Indigenous Australians is available for use by people with cancer, their families, practitioners, policy makers and researchers," Assoc Prof Garvey said.

Professor Ian Olver, CEO, Cancer Council Australia said NICaN will bring together key researchers, practitioners, and consumer advocacy groups from across Australia.

"NICaN will actively promote the conversion of research knowledge into Australian health policy and practices, as well as identify areas where more research is needed."

This page was last updated on: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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