Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

The information on this website is to help people understand what happens if they have cancer.

It is for anyone with cancer and the people supporting them.

Having cancer

Finding out you have cancer can be very stressful. You may need to have a number of tests and see one or more specialist doctors.

It is important to have information and support at this time.

People you can talk to include:

  • staff at your local Aboriginal medical service
  • an Aboriginal health worker
  • your local doctor (GP).

You can also get information and support from the Cancer Council. Call 13 11 20 or go to their website.

Having cancer treatment

Your specialist doctor works with a multidisciplinary team (MDT). They will make a treatment plan for you, which your doctor will explain.

You can take family or other people to support you when you speak to the doctor, or ask for an Aboriginal health worker to be there.

Other people who can support you at the hospital include:

  • Aboriginal liaison officer
  • cancer care coordinator
  • social worker.
Cancer treatments are improving all the time. Modern treatments cause fewer side effects, and there are better ways to manage these.

Support for people who have to travel for treatment

There are some financial support programs for people who have to travel to receive specialist care:

  • Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS) is a NSW Government program. It helps with travel and accommodation costs for people who need to travel more than 100 km for specialist care and treatment. 
  • Can Assist is a NSW charity running since 1955. It has local branches in some areas of NSW that provide support for country NSW cancer patients.
  • There are also other charities that offer assistance. Contact the Cancer Council for advice.
  • Some hospitals also offer subsidised accommodation for people from rural areas. Ask to speak to a social worker for advice.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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