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  • Some Aboriginal cancers diagnosed later

    Author: AAP

Aboriginal people are more than twice as likely to have serious head and neck cancers by the time they're diagnosed than non-Aboriginal people, a study shows.

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Head and neck cancers in Aboriginal people are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed at a later stage than non-Aboriginal people.

A study says while the prevalence of cancer isn't higher among Aboriginal people, head and neck cancers are 240 per cent more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage.

The study by Cancer Council NSW, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, looked at the difference in the spread of cancer at the time of diagnosis.


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St Vincent's Hospital
Frontline Health Brisbane
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Talent Quarter PTY Ltd

Rajah Supramaniam, from Cancer Council NSW, said cancer prevention and awareness are the best ways of closing the gap.

"Targeted health campaigns encouraging regular health checks, routine dental examinations and recommended breast, cervical and bowel cancer screening could improve Aboriginal cancer survival," he said.

For all cancers, 40 per cent of Aboriginal people were diagnosed with localised cancer spread compared with almost 47 per cent of non-Aboriginal people.

The study also found Aboriginal people are more likely than non-Aboriginal people to be diagnosed with advanced melanoma, breast, cervical and prostate cancers, although unlike head and neck cancers, the differences were not statistically significant.

Copyright AAP 2015


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