Multicultural communities

General cancer information

Multicultural communities

The information on this website is to help people understand what happens if they have cancer. It is for anyone with cancer or the people supporting them.

This information is only available in English but there are other websites that have translated information. You can find these in the recommended links on this page.

Using interpreters

You do not have to use family or friends to interpret for you. You have the right to have a health interpreter.

When you book your appointment, say that you need an interpreter. Remember to say which language you speak.

If there isn’t an interpreter available for your appointment, there is a telephone interpreter service you can use. 

If you don’t understand what people are saying, don’t be embarrassed to tell them and ask for an interpreter.

Finding translated information

There are lots of things to understand and decisions to make when you have cancer. It may be hard to communicate and know what is happening when English is not your first language.

There are some organisations that provide information in different languages:

  • The Cancer Council has information in Arabic, Chinese, Mandarin, Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Find it at the top of any page on their website.
  • Cancer Australia has information in Arabic, Chinese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
  • Most of the recommended links on this page have translated information.
  • Some hospitals also have translated information. Ask your doctors or nurses if there is information about your cancer in your language.

Talking about beliefs

Australia is a multicultural country. People from different cultures have different beliefs about cancer and other illnesses. Your culture, background and past experiences can affect how you feel about cancer and cancer treatment.

It is good to talk to your doctors and nurses about your culture and beliefs. It helps them understand the things that are important to you. 

Where to get help

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

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