Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care project (APOCC)
Cancer Council NSW investigated the cancer experiences of Aboriginal people in NSW through the Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care project (APOCC). This project was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) through a Health Services Research Grant and Cancer Institute NSW through a Cancer Epidemiology Linkage Grant. Although it is well documented that cancer is the second most common cause of death for Aboriginal people, very little was known about the cancer experiences of Aboriginal people in NSW.
Aims of the APOCC project
This project aimed to explore the reasons for the increased death rate from cancer for Aboriginal people in NSW. Is it due to later diagnosis of cancer, different treatments received, or a combination of both? The project aimed to:
- Determine whether Aboriginal people are being diagnosed with cancer at later stages
- Describe any barriers to Aboriginal people being diagnosed earlier and accessing cancer care
- Describe the care that Aboriginal people with cancer are currently receiving
- Compare the level and types of care with that received by non-Aboriginal people.
Cancer Treatment for Aboriginal People
Findings from the APOCC & University of New South Wales Qualitative Interview Study suggest that Aboriginal people may be reluctant to undergo cancer treatment due to fear and confusion about the health system, in addition to practical barriers such as lack of transport and accommodation. This highlights the need for health services and organisations like Cancer Council NSW to work with Aboriginal communities to overcome these barriers.
Professor Dianne O’Connell Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW
Professor Phyllis Butow School of Psychology, University of Sydney
Professor Bruce Armstrong Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Sydney
Professor Carla Treloar National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales
Dr Anthony Dillon School of Indigenous Health Studies, University of Sydney
Dr. Christy Newman National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales
Mr. Rajah Supramaniam Cancer Research Division, Cancer Council NSW
Cancer Research Division Team
Erin Dooley Aboriginal Communications Assistant
APOCC project publications
||Title / Publication / Date|
|Gibberd AJ, Supramaniam R, Dillon A, Armstrong BK & O’Connell DL.||
Are Aboriginal people more likely to be diagnosed with more advanced cancer?
|Rodger JC, Supramaniam R, Gibberd AJ, Smith DP, Armstrong BK, Dillon A & O’Connell DL.||Prostate cancer mortality outcomes and patterns of primary treatment for Aboriginal men in New South Wales, Australia.
BJU International, Supplement article. (2014)
|Supramaniam R, Gibberd A, Dillon A., Goldsbury DE, &O Connell DL.||Increasing rates of surgical treatment and preventing comorbidities may increase breast cancer survival for Aboriginal women.
BMC Cancer 2014, 14:163. (2014)
|Treloar, C, Gray, R, Brener, L, Jackson, C, Saunders, V, Johnson, P, Harris, M, Butow, P, & Newman, CE.||“I can’t do this, it’s too much”: Building social inclusion in cancer diagnosis and treatment experiences of Aboriginal people, their carers and health workers.
International Journal of Public Health. Advance online publication. (2013)
|Treloar, C, Gray, R, Brener, L., Jackson, C, Saunders, V, Johnson, P, Harris, M, Butow, P, & Newman, CE.||Health literacy in relation to cancer: addressing the silence about and absence of cancer discussion among Aboriginal people, communities and health services.
Health and Social Care in the Community, 21(6), 655-664. (2013)
|Newman, CE, Gray, R, Brener, L, Jackson, LC, Saunders, V, Johnson, P, Harris, M, Butow, P, & Treloar, C.||One size fits all? The discursive framing of cultural difference in health professional accounts of providing cancer care to Aboriginal people.
Ethnicity and Health, 18(4), 433-447. (2013)
|Newman, C, Treloar, C, Brener, L, Ellard, J, O’Connell, D, Butow, P, Supramaniam, R, & Dillon, A.||Aboriginal Patterns of Cancer Care: a five-year study in New South Wales.
Aboriginal & Islander Health Worker Journal, 32(3), May/June: 6-7. (2008)