Dramatic drop in cancer-related procedures triggers new Cancer Won’t Wait translated video campaign

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A recent report by Cancer Australia, indicated that over 150,000 fewer cancer-related medical services and procedures for breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers were undertaken in Australia in January to September 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To support community awareness about symptoms, Cancer Australia has launched a series of 10 linguistically diverse  Cancer Won’t Wait videos to urge people of all ages to see their health professional with any new or persistent symptoms that could be cancer. 

Australia is a vibrant, multicultural society.  More than one-fifth (21 per cent) of Australians speak a language other than English at home according to the 2016 Census. After English, the next most common languages spoken at home were Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Traditional Chinese and Vietnamese.

“We have created these new translated videos to reach as many culturally and linguistically diverse Australians as possible with the message that Cancer Won’t Wait, because we know that delays in cancers being diagnosed, or cancers being diagnosed at a later stage, may lead to poorer cancer outcomes.”

 “The COVID -19 pandemic will be with us for a while, and now that our healthcare systems have adjusted and many services are showing recovery to pre-pandemic levels, we are encouraging people not to delay with their regular medical appointments, surgeries and screening procedures particularly with regard to cancer.”

Translated videos, fact sheets and pamphlets are available in:

“While cancer is more common as we get older, you can develop cancer at any age. It’s really important to know your body and know the symptoms to look out for. If you have a new change in your body that hasn’t gone away, such as a lump, don’t put off seeing your doctor. Most changes are not cancer, but if it is cancer, the earlier it is found, the better.”

Cancer symptoms to be aware of include; coughing up blood, or a new or changed cough that doesn’t go away; a change in bowel or bladder habit including bleeding; any breast change, including a lump; unexplained vaginal bleeding; a new or changing mole; persistent unexplained pain; a new lump or swelling; and, unexplained weight loss or tiredness.

For more information, visit the Cancer Australia dedicated hub about cancer and the COVID-19 pandemic for people affected by cancer, health professionals and researchers.