Cancer care on Palm Island, Australia

This report in The Lancet Oncology provides an interesting insight into the challenges of providing cancer care in remote Australia. Palm Island has 3000 residents and over 94% identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. There are over 40 different indigenous groups each with different languages. There is no word for cancer in the languages spoken on the island which highlights the difficulty that may exist for locals and health professionals to discuss cancer. The report includes the perspective of a local GP, Mark Nuttall, on the challenges of delivering basic cancer care, allied and specialist health services. Access to cancer treatment and screening services is poorer. There are also no cancer treatment facilities. He suggests that increasing health promotion and disease prevention interventions important. In particular, current preventive health measures that target lifestyle factors are gaining momentum on the island. This article discusses the work local health professionals and medical researchers are undertaking to change the way cancer is discussed and targeted on Palm Island.

Read the full article here: