Cancer deaths much higher for Aborigines

Kate Benson; 23/4/10

Aborigines living in Sydney are just as likely to die from cancer as those in remote areas of NSW, shattering the belief that a lack of services is responsible for late diagnoses and limited treatment. New figures released by the Cancer Council NSW show that Aboriginal men in metropolitan areas are three times more likely to die from oesophageal cancer than white men, and indigenous women are three times as likely to die from kidney and cervical cancer, even though they may live close to hospitals and medical centres. The study also found that indigenous men were 50 per cent more likely than white men to die from lung cancer and 1½ times more likely to die from stomach cancer. Women were twice as likely to die from lung cancer. Experts have blamed the high death rates on a lack of transport, cost of care and some indigenous people not wanting to leave their families for long periods to seek treatment.