New booklet boosts cancer support for Indigenous people

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Cancer Council Queensland has launched its first resource written in an Indigenous language, to improve cancer support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

The booklet, Wanem Morphine, published in Creole, will help Indigenous Queenslanders understand the use of morphine for pain relief in cancer treatment.

Cancer Council Queensland’s Senior Research Fellow, Associate Professor Anna Hawkes, said the new booklet will be of great benefit to Indigenous Queenslanders affected by cancer.

“Often Indigenous people who are facing cancer are fearful about taking morphine for pain relief,” she said.

“The booklet helps to answer any questions that might arise when morphine is prescribed, and helps to dispel myths about morphine.

“Importantly, the booklet will ensure that Indigenous people with cancer receive the treatment they need, enabling patients to accept essential medication for pain relief and maintain a better quality of life through their illness,” she said.

The booklet is an outcome of Cancer Council Queensland’s work to reduce the impact of cancer on Aboriginal and Torres Islander communities in Queensland.

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders face specific cultural challenges when coping with cancer, and require a much greater level of tailored support to improve diagnostic and treatment outcomes.”

The booklet was written by Cancer Council Queensland in collaboration with Indigenous health workers, Elders and Torres Strait Islanders.

“Our progress has been helped by the formation of an Indigenous Stakeholder Group that provides us with the guidance we need to prioritise the development of effective resources that address identified areas of need for Indigenous Queenslanders,” A/Prof Hawkes said.

“The development of culturally and linguistically diverse resources for Indigenous Queenslanders is one of the key areas of our strategy to improve cancer control for Indigenous Queenslanders.”

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