Essay: Rates of cancer in indigenous Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Inhabitants

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Indigenous Australians are a group of Aboriginal individuals and Torres Strait Islanders in some parts of Australia. Their beliefs are a mixture of modern and traditional customs and practices. They have different beliefs, philosophies, theories, socioeconomic and health problems. Cancer is an under highlighted matter in indigenous Australia. Cancer is a common syndrome in Indigenous Australians. Indigenous Australia have much complex cancer incidence rates than other Australians. They have high risk of cancers of the cervix, lungs and liver but lower rates of cancers of the rectum, prostate breast, colon, lymphoma and, melanoma of skin (Chunningham et al., 2008). Some of these differences can be clarified by differences in prevalence of the risk factor.

Indigenous Australians also have greater death rate and smaller survival from various types of cancers as a whole than other Australians (Condon et al., 2004). This essay provides a better health promotion plan and inclusive depiction of cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals in Australia. The promotion health plan is beneficial to health authorities, policy manufacturers and others that may have interest in the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Inhabitants.

(i) Impact of cancer on the mindset of indigenous Australian,

The burden of cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians has only recently begun to be appreciated. The risk of cancer is many times more common among Indigenous Australians than other Australians. Deaths from diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease occur at high rates in indigenous inhabitants as compared they occur in the Australian inhabitants. Cancer deaths in indigenous occur at about 1.6 times the rate they happen in the Australian population and cancer survival is also lower for Indigenous people. Cancer is the third most common cause of death between Indigenous Australians, and accounts for a greater number of deaths each year than diabetes and kidney syndrome. The impact of various types of cancers on Indigenous individuals grabs less attention than it deserves. The level of identification of cancer in indigenous people is known to be poor. There are currently no more awareness on cancer coincidence in Indigenous Australian due to cultural and social backwardness of these people. Due to lack of education and awareness campaigns in this area, people are less conscious about this fetal disease. Every year thousands of the inhabitants of indigenous Australia become susceptible to various types of cancers. The cultural backwardness factor is major factor.

The classification of the risk groups from other normal group is always a difficult process. This categorization is formed through empirical analysis. Empirical data analysis will may assist with culturally appropriate classification of individuals from the other cultures into risk group based on their family backgrounds. It provide the foundation for the progress of culturally appropriate patient education policies and strategies (Meiser et al., 2001).

(ii) Causative factors for cancer,

There are various factors involve in increased rate of cancer in indigenous Australian, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Inhabitants. These factors may involve smoking, alcohol consumption, low literacy rate, cultural backwardness, social and economic development and lack of health facilities and movements. These health risk factors explain the pattern of cancer incidence and death rate in these areas. Effective tobacco control programs, improvements across a range of health services, and meaningful Indigenous engagement are all needed to decrease the burden of cancer in Indigenous Australians. Violent alcohol consumption and related harms have been highlighted as a major concern of cancer for Indigenous Australians across all ages (Calabria et al., 2010). Although the information of cancer in this area is refining, healthier surveillance of cancer frequency, mortality, and prevalence of risk factors is immediately required to monitor the expansion of the cancer epidemic.

More progressive illness at diagnosis, and perhaps poorer management and treatment are partially answerable for the increased rate of cancer, but other aspects may also be involved. The lack of less available and less operative health programs are as important as the problem of cancer in Indigenous Australian health issue. Major developments in preventive facilities, screening, primary caution, and professional treatment facilities are essential to reduce cancer incidence and improve cancer consequences for Australia’s Indigenous individuals. (Cunningham et al., 2008).

(iii) Statistics regarding cancer in Indigenous Australians,

Indigenous individuals in Australia are less likely than non-Indigenous individuals to receive satisfactory management for various types of cancer, even after adjusting and controlling for geographical locality and socioeconomic aspects. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australian’s identified with cancer between 1998 and 2007 has a 40 percent chance of living for at least five years, compared with 52 percent for non-Indigenous inhabitants. Indigenous individuals has an inferior overall frequency of cancer. Standardized death ratio is 1.36; 95 percent Cl, 1.28-1.45 (Condon et al., 2006). The total standardized death rates is 66 percent upper for males and 59 percent upper for females for Aboriginal people as associated with non-Indigenous people. Mortality rate from lung cancer is 50 percent and 100 percent higher than for non-Indigenous males and females of Australia respectively (Supramaniam et al., 2006).

The cancers with the uppermost frequency are cervical, breast, and now HIV related Kaposi’s tumor. The topmost five cancers in males are Kaposi’s sarcoma constituting 12•9 percent of all cancers in males and cancer of the liver 14•8 percent, prostate 9•5 percent, bladder 6•1 percent, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma 5•7 percent. In females cancer of the cervix comprise 23•3percent of all cancers in females and breast 19•2, Kaposi’s tumor 5•1 percent, cancer of the liver 5•0 percent, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma 3•7 percent (Parkin et al., 2008). The high death rates and high susceptible rates reveals the fact that health workforces and organizations across the spectrum in mainstream and Indigenous medicinal services have a low accountability for refining the availability and excellence of data. They should ensure the suitable use of information essential to achieve and monitor improvements in health grade of Indigenous individuals.

Public health is defined as measures taken by the government or authority to promote health of general public, prevention of diseases, reducing the death rate and promoting health promotion programs. Health promotion programs are delivered by a wide range of organizations, in a wide range of settings and sectors for, or with, multiple groups. In case of cancer among the indigenous inhabitant of Australia, the functional role played by the organizations and firms seem to be less effective and operative. Following neo-liberal reformations and cancer fatality rate increase in the 1990s, however, government strategies have increasingly engrossed on cancer diseases and its risk factors.

Despite the fact of low literacy rate in these remote areas, some of the organizations and health administrations offer beneficial health promotion programs relating to cancer. For example, The RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Project that supporting GPs to improve early recognition and management of breast and cervical cancer disorder in the women of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island. Australian Health Promotion Association is also an Australian health promotion program for people interested or involved in the practice, research, study of health promotion and fatal diseases like cancer and other diseases.

(v) Explanation of target group,

Cancer is a chief reason of Indigenous mortality in Australia, surpassed only by circulatory disorders and respiratory syndromes. Facts show that Indigenous individuals with cancer are more likely to expire from cancer sickness (Condon et al., 2003). In 2007, one of the primary reason of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individual’s resident in WA, SA and the NT is various forms of cancer. It accounts for nearly one fifth of all Indigenous deaths of 19% as compared with nearly one third of total non-Indigenous deaths of 30%. Although Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are less likely to have some categories of cancer than other Australians, Indigenous people are significantly more likely to have certain types of cancers that have an unfortunate prognosis. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are usually diagnosed with cancer at a serious stage, are less likely to receive adequate management and treatment, and are more likely to die from cancers than other Australians.

Despite overall incidence and death rates being greater in non-Indigenous individuals, Indigenous Australians expire from CRC at an earlier age, before the targeted screening age. The patterns of Indigenous cancer incidence and mortality are largely explained by the higher prevalence of risk factors, most notably tobacco use, alcohol use, remoteness and various socioeconomic factors. The qualitative estimation report of the NBCSP considered that language and literacy issues is also a main barrier for Indigenous Australians with many unable to understand or read the instructions and useful data regarding the cure of cancer or prevention from cancer. Furthermore, it was noted that Indigenous people are unlikely to seek support if they experienced problems or complications regarding the treatment. Literacy is essentially required to solve the problem and health promotions campaigns are important in this regard.

Health promotion campaign:

Primary health campaign may consist of various promotion sessions. Given bellow is the example of two health promotion sessions for health campaign regarding the sociological understanding and awareness of cancer in Indigenous Australians. It may also provide the information about the therapeutic treatment of cancer at different stages.

(i) Health promotion session 1,

This first health promotion session consist of following attributes.

Aim of the session,

Aim of the first session of health promotion is to spread awareness about the basic information of cancer among the patients as well as the healthy people. Health promotion for cancer is very important issue. This sessions aims at gathering the necessary and useful facts of cancer patients.

Health issue,

Indigenous Australians have higher mortality and lower survival from cancer as a whole than other Australians. More advanced disease at diagnosis, and possibly poorer treatment, are partly responsible for these differences, but other factors may also be involved (Valery et al., 2006). Therefore the cancer health issue is needed to be widespread in health promotion processes.

Activities or resources used,

To spread the awareness about any fact, multimedia plays the significant role. In order to aware the people about the fatality of cancer, social networking, multimedia and internet exhibits the chief role. The activities or the facts regarding the test group may be presented by audio recording, video recording or content analyses technique in first health promotion session. Manual or computer search also help in this regard.

Effectiveness or result of session,

As a result of spreading the basic need of the information about cancer, people will come to know the severity of the cancer. All the mediums used for the useful spreading of information are considered very important. As a result of the above session people become aware of the fact that cancer is the major health problem of their area and there is a need of its reduction.

(ii) Health promotion session 2,

After spreading the basic information about the fatality of cancer among the Indigenous Australian’s, the second health promotion session starts.

Aim of the session

Health issue

Cancer is now the second principal cause of death, after heart disease, in Indigenous Australians. Though the age standardized incidence of all cancers in Indigenous Australians is parallel to that for the rest of the Australian inhabitants but death rates are up to 45 percent higher in Indigenous Australian inhabitants. Therefore there is need of functional and liable health promotion campaigns (Moore et al., 2010).

Activities or resources used,

People’s perceptions about cancer have an important effect on the use of services or campaigns therefore the activities or the resources in second health promotion need to be more fast and effective. Along with fast networking mediums, seminars and conferences also plays significant role in this regard. Surveys are also organized to gather the facts and to spread the information.

Result of session,

The result of the session shows that people have more information about different types of cancers like lung cancer, breast cancer, skin cancer and others. Smoking, alcohol consumption, some environmental factors, hereditary aspects along with other biological facts are considered important in the fatality of cancer. The results reveal that people become worried about their health condition. People become able to describe the basic information and facts about cancer.


Indigenous Australians do not have the high standard of health that Australians in general have, and have worse consequences for numerous diseases such as cancer. It is understandable from the above discussion that health administration and government in collaboration with health care organizations should conduct surveys, seminars, health care campaigns and other techniques to identify healthcare needs of patients suffering from cancer disorders in indigenous Australia. Health promotion sessions discussed in the essay are the most efficient and effective model for planning health care promotion programs as they engage the particular target audience more effectively. Moreover, the goals and objectives of the healthcare plan should be coincide with the goals of people for whom the plan or session is being developed.

Culturally sensitive and empathetic individual contact, acknowledgment and respect for Aboriginal family structures, culture and life circumstances, an understanding of significant role of nonverbal communication and importance of history, land and community are required to spread the cancer information among the people. Government should offer exclusive procedures and measures to eradicate the cancer from Indigenous Australia.

. In addition to attainable, specific and measureable the aim of health care promotion plan should be relevant to particular health needs of the target audience (Watson et al., 2014). The aim of this session is to spread the information about the treatment of the cancer as people have become aware of basic facts of cancer in previous session. This study also examines whether the informational requirements on health promotion by cancer patients is being met. It also evaluates other factors associated with those.

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