Indigenous education and support
With the support of BHP Billiton, Breast Cancer Care WA is working with communities across the state to educate Indigenous women about breast cancer, to connect them with available services should they be diagnosed and to collaborate with other health agencies to improve these services and the referral process.
Breast cancer is a major health issue for Indigenous women. It is the most common cancer and a leading cause of cancer death in Indigenous women. Indigenous women are often diagnosed at a more advanced stage and outcomes are generally poorer that in non-Indigenous women – National Breast Cancer Centre Report .
Shame, fear and the belief that nothing you can do will make a difference, are some reasons why Indigenous people avoid cancer screening, ignore symptoms or avoid seeking treatment after they have been diagnosed. Many also believe that cancer ultimately results in death which is considered a major factor in why some people ignore early symptoms and do not access treatment. In addition people living in remote areas may receive a late diagnosis due to lack of education and access to medical support.
Breast Cancer Care WA is dedicated to educating Indigenous people to increase early detection of the disease and providing support services for those that have been diagnosed.
Breast Awareness Workshops
Breast Cancer Care WA facilitates free workshops across WA that educate about the importance of breast awareness and early detection.
Click here to learn more.
Each person’s journey with breast cancer is unique and so too are their challenges and needs during this journey. At Breast Cancer Care WA we offer a range of culturally appropriate services that are tailored to meet the needs of each individual.
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How it all started
Breast Cancer Care WA established the Indigenous Program in 2003. Ros Worthington OAM, supported by Lexie Trancollino-Councillor (an Aboriginal woman and survivor from the East Kimberley region) joined forces with the Indigenous Program Officer at Breast Screen WA and the BreastScreen WA state-wide Indigenous Women’s Reference Group, to set about improving education, support and services to Indigenous women with breast cancer in metropolitan, rural and remote communities.
In July 2008, BHP Billiton generously agreed to fund a full time Indigenous Program Coordinator, allowing Breast Cancer Care WA to offer the same support and care readily available to non-Indigenous women affected by breast cancer.