Today, National Close the Gap Day, Cancer Australia is working to address the disparity in lung cancer outcomes with the release of its Lung Cancer in Our Mob handbook, developed for health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to help them support Indigenous Australians with lung cancer. It endorses the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, explains medical information in plain language and encourages culturally appropriate patient care and sources of support to the patients, their family and the community.
The Lung Cancer in Our Mob handbook also addresses the biggest risk factor associated with lung cancer, smoking. 42% of Indigenous Australians smoke on a daily basis, compared with 16% of non-Indigenous Australians. While that rate has improved from 49% in 2002, current smokers are around 9 times more likely to develop lung cancer than people who have never smoked.
The handbook supports health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to help prevent lung cancer, improve knowledge of the symptoms and support people through the lung cancer treatment pathway.
The Lung Cancer in Our Mob handbook is available online, and pre-orders are currently being accepted for printed copies.