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Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people facing the challenge of lung cancer

A new consumer guide, My Lung Cancer Pathway, will provide culturally appropriate, targeted information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with lung cancer and their families.

Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are around 75% more likely to be diagnosed with and die from lung cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.

Professor Helen Zorbas, CEO, Cancer Australia, said that supporting the early diagnosis of lung cancer in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and encouraging the initiation and completion of treatment for the disease, were important factors in improving outcomes for those affected.

“The diagnosis of lung cancer can pose significant challenges, and it is particularly important to acknowledge the emotional and psychosocial impact of the disease,” said Professor Zorbas.

“Cancer Australia’s new guide My Lung Cancer Pathway, released during Lung Cancer Awareness Month, provides culturally appropriate information and support that speaks directly to the lung cancer patient and their families.

“The guide helps them to navigate each step of the lung cancer pathway and understand more about treatment options they may be offered, how to look after themselves during and after treatment, and where to find support.

“The guide will also be a valuable resource for health workers and clinicians involved in the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people undergoing treatment for lung cancer across community and clinical settings. It can support important conversations about treatment, care, use of traditional bush medicine and psychosocial needs with patients and their families,” said Professor Zorbas.

Cancer Australia has produced a series of four videos, Joe’s Lung Cancer Journey, which features the story of an Aboriginal man’s diagnosis with lung cancer, his treatment and life after treatment.