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in brief: indigenous women face higher risk of breast cancer


The New South Wales Cancer Council has released a shocking statistic regarding Aboriginal women and breast cancer.

According to their research Indigenous deaths due to breast cancer is almost one third higher than non-Indigenous women. They have also reported that Aboriginal women tend to be younger on average than other Australian women and present the disease at a more advanced stage.

Breast cancer in today’s society is no longer a taboo topic and with advertisements and campaigns reminding women to get mammograms regularly, the disease is getting diagnosed much earlier.

However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with the Aboriginal community. Late detection is a big factor in the higher death rates as well as treatment options.

Indigenous women are citing practical issues such as transport, work and accommodation being a large reason for delay. Although mobile screening vans do visit remote towns, women still find it difficult to get time off work or childcare to use these services.

Another difficulty for women living in remote areas is transport to and from treatment, which often leads to having to stay in the city. Not only is this a financial burden for the family but also a physiological issue for the women undergoing treatment. They are separated from their family and their home at at time when they most need it.

The Cancer Council recommend speaking to your GP if you have any concerns or issues.

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