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Highlighting the cancer care gap in South Australia

‘Close the Care Gap’ was the theme for World Cancer Day earlier this year; how this gap affects people in South Australia was explored by a Cancer Council SA team when recently guest posting at Croakey’s rotated X/Twitter account, @WePublicHealth.

They highlighted inequalities experienced by people living in rural and regional areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and other groups.

A summary of their posts follows below.


Cancer Council SA writes:

We acknowledge the Kaurna people as the Traditional Custodians of the Adelaide region. We also pay respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all other First Nations people.

Not all South Australians are impacted by cancer equally. We will be highlighting the barriers still existing to Close the Care Gap in cancer outcomes.

 

For most regional South Australians, there is no option but to leave the comfort and familiarity of home, and everyone you love, and travel hundreds of kilometres for life-saving treatment.

And as the cost of living continues to rise, many regional people going through cancer may have to make the decision to stop treatment and stay home to be with their family and loved ones.

Socioeconomic factors such as income, education, geographical location and food security all play a role in health outcomes. Some factors that can contribute to the gap in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people include distrust and inequalities in the healthcare system, resulting in late-stage diagnosis and low screening rates. [Croakey notes that racism and lack of cultural safety in health systems are also widely acknowledged concerns].

We also know that commercial determinants of health contribute to widening inequity, including promoting products that harm health. A Cancer Council SA study revealed that 80 percent of food and drinks ads near South Aussie schools are about junk food. Read more here.

If cancer is found early, the chances of surviving are higher. That’s why regular screening and seeing your doctor if you notice any changes to your body are so important.

Our Prevention Team will be heading to the Riverland in April to help raise awareness of the importance of cancer screening in the local multicultural community, including offering 45 free mammograms provided by BreastScreen SA for migrant women aged 40 and over.

We also offer cancer screening information in 23 languages. Head to our website to download translated cancer prevention resources.

 

Self-collection is a safe, effective and easy option for people who prefer to take the test themselves. Learn more about self-collection for cervical screening.


Cancer Council SA has awarded grants to 30 South Aussie GPs in locations where there is a higher rate of skin cancer, including regional areas, to receive a fully funded dermatoscope to help detect skin cancer early. View the full list of GPs and clinics.
Smoking is still the single largest cause of preventable death and disease in our community and can cause 16 different types of cancer. And the longer you smoke, the greater the risk. Learn more about the link between smoking and cancer.

Socioeconomic disadvantage is consistently linked to higher smoking rates and more barriers to quitting.

Learn more about Cancer Council SA’s Tackling Tobacco program and how your community service organisation can get involved.

https://www.cancer.org.au/critical-action-on-e-cigarettes-needed

South Australians are more likely to die within five years of a cancer diagnosis the further they live from Adelaide.

Read Ken’s story.

We have covered a number of factors that can contribute to a gap in cancer care including barriers to accessing cancer screening, higher smoking rates among priority groups, and how where you live can impact access to life-saving treatment.

We are committed to ensuring every South Australian has every chance to survive a cancer diagnosis. If you’d like more information about Cancer Council’s cancer prevention programs and support services, visit http://cancersa.org.au or call 13 11 20.


See Croakey’s archive of articles from guests at @WePublicHealth this year