Viewers are advised that the following resource contains images, voices and references to deceased people, which could distress or bring sadness, particularly to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The resource contains three sections:
- Section one: Epidemiology provides an overview of the epidemiology of cancer in Indigenous populations, looks at cultural factors affecting cancer control in Indigenous communities, and discusses health and health policy for Indigenous Australians.
- Section two: Constructs of cultural safety presents information on cultural safety and respect, effective communication, and describes a number of characteristics unique to Indigenous cultures. It reviews factors contributing to the inequalities of cancer outcomes for Indigenous people and provides a cultural appraisal framework.
- Section three: Nursing care for Indigenous people with cancer examines the ability of the Specialist Cancer Nurse (SCN) to recognise factors that influence Indigenous peoples' attitudes toward cancer, and use cancer prevention programs and other resources developed for Indigenous people. It examines nursing interventions to meet the health needs of Indigenous people affected by cancer.
The resource includes a series of stories to help you apply your understanding and develop effective nursing responses for Indigenous people affected by cancer.
It is recommended that you complete the sections and their related activities in order. This is because each section and each activity includes information that will help you complete the sections and activities that follow.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are Australia's Indigenous peoples and make up approximately 3% of the total Australian population.1 In 2014, the Indigenous population of 713,600 peoples comprises those that identified as being of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander origin.1
Until recently, cancer was considered a lesser problem for Indigenous people because of competing factors affecting the population. Compared to other Australians, Indigenous people have:2
- a shorter life expectancy than other Australians (estimated life expectancy gap of 9.7 years for females and 11.5 years for males)
- excess morbidity and mortality associated with other diseases or injuries.
There are significant differences in the cancer experience of Indigenous Australians compared with non-Indigenous Australians:1
- cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher for Indigenous Australians
- cancer survival is lower for Indigenous Australians
- fewer cancer-related hospitalisations occur for Indigenous Australians
- there is a higher prevalence of cancer-related modifiable risk factors.
*The term 'peoples' is used to acknowledge the heterogeneity of the Australian Indigenous population, which includes many different language groups and cultures.
On completion of this supporting resource, you should be able to:
- Understand the constructs of Indigenous culture and the impact of significant historical events on contemporary Indigenous society.
- Interpret key epidemiological trends for cancer in the Indigenous population.
- Discuss strategies to reduce cancer risk in the Indigenous population.
- Demonstrate the ability to apply principles of cultural safety in cancer control activities.
- Collaborate with Indigenous health care providers to develop person-family centred cancer care.
- Provide culturally appropriate information and supportive services for Indigenous people affected by cancer.
- Build collaborative networks with members of local Indigenous communities and Indigenous health care providers.
- Indigenous cultural constructs.
- Epidemiology of cancer.
- Cultural perspectives and cancer.
- Cultural respect principles.
- Cultural safety.
At times, you will have learning activities to complete. Click on the learning activities button and a list of questions will pop up. The questions will relate to the content you've just read or the video you've just watched.
Each section contains videos. You can watch the clips when prompted throughout the resource or at any time by clicking on the video icon in the right-side menu.
Cancer Australia. (2018) EdCaN module: Cancer care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, version 1.3.