Murray PHN eNews #67 | There’s no Aboriginal word for cancer


Edition 67  | There's no Aboriginal word for cancer                                      


Leonie McIntosh - Sharing the Healing Process with her Community

Helping Indigenous patients to access cancer services

Statistics show  Indigenous Australians are three and a half times more likely to die from cervical cancer, three times more likely to die from liver cancer and almost twice as likely to die from lung cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.

Studies in the Northern Territory and Queensland have found that Indigenous cancer patients are less likely to be recommended for, choose and complete curative treatment than non-Indigenous patients.

Associate Professors Gail Garvey and Patricia Valery  from the Menzies School of Health Research  report  that there's no Aboriginal word for cancer and that cancer is often associated with death, so there is a lack of open discussion and general awareness of cancer in many Indigenous communities.

Indigenous Australians have unique needs with respect to radiation oncology that can include: different patterns of cancer incidence compared with non-Indigenous Australians, later diagnosis and lower survival, continued disadvantage in accessing treatments, cultural considerations and limited data and research on Indigenous cancer care.

In this video, you will meet Leonie McIntosh - proud Wiradjuri woman, mother, wife, artist and academic B.Ed (Hon), PhD -  to hear  about her brain cancer and treatment journey as an Aboriginal woman at the new GenesisCare Radiation Oncology Centre. The centre is  located in the purpose-built Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre and allows patients in the North East to have radiation therapy closer to home.

Leonie's story  demonstrates the importance of reducing barriers to Indigenous patients accessing high quality specialist care.


GPs  helping to eliminate Hepatitis C

Kirby Institute's  Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program  has reported a growth in hepatitis C  treatment rates in the Institute's  February newsletter  (4% in March 2016 to 19% in September). More than 30,000  of the 230,000 Australians living with chronic hepatitis C  have been treated with direct acting antiviral  drugs following their listing on the PBS in 2016.This  growth shows that GPs  now account for one in five hepatitis curative treatments, and based on these figures,  Australia is on target to eliminate hepatitis C within 10 years. However, it is estimated that 20%  of Australians living with the disease remain undiagnosed.

Click here for Hep C resources on our website, including a new 2017 patient resource  Hep C and You: A User Guide to the Latest Information and  click here for Curing Hepatitis C: Your Role as a GP  online education module by  the Victorian PHN Alliance.

Improving cancer services in the Hume region    cancer    

Hume Regional Integrated Cancer Services (Hume RICS) are looking to improve care coordination, multidisciplinary and supportive care, and to reduce variations in care, in the Hume region. Their focus is on the  prevention, early detection, diagnosis, staging, treatment and recovery in  CRC or Lung Cancer Optimal Cancer Care Pathways. Up to $75,000 dollars in funding is being offered with expressions of interest closing  this Friday, 3 March 2017. Click here  for more details

Help for those impacted  by ice    alcohol and other dugs    

Statistics released by Ambo-AODstats show that paramedics attended 467 ice-related call-outs in regional Victoria over the 2014-15 period, compared with 296 the year before and only 94 in 2011-12. Locally the region with  the biggest increase is Shepparton LGA with an annual increase of 129% growing from six attendances in 2011-12 to 37 in 2014-15.
In an effort to help ice users and their families overcome the difficulties of drug use, the Penington Institute has  launched a website for regional Victorians to provide steps to identify warning signs and take an early intervention approach.  There is also a  Family Drug Helpline 1300 660 068.

No jab no pay laws landed    immunisation    

Parents of more than 142,793 or 5.5 per cent have been recently denied family payments as the 'no jab no pay' laws have come into effect. Around 93.5 per cent of Victorian children under five are fully immunised, but we know that 95 per cent is required to achieve herd immunity from preventable disease. On 15 January, a new campaign 'immunity for community' promoting the benefits of immunisation, seeing your GP and the No Jab No Play laws launched. The campaign encourages parents to keep immunisations up-to-date, with the Governments VaxOnTime app. Click here for more details. Click here for our localised HealthPathway (Note you must be registered to view. Click here to register).

Providing support to older people Australians    aged care    

A nationally consistent approach to the delivery of aged care advocacy services is a step closer with the development of the draft National Aged Care Advocacy Framework, released on 17 February. The Framework was informed by 33 submissions from advocacy providers, peak organisations representing consumers, aged care providers and special needs groups. Click here for more details.
The Department of Health has opened funding  of up to $25.7m to provide the National Aged Care Advocacy Program from 1 July 2017 - 30 June 2020, and is willing to consider a national provider. Applications for the funding round close  on 31 March. Click here to view the grant opportunity.

National Cancer Screening Register delayed    cancer    
Australias first National Cancer Screening Register start date has been delayed for the time being, due  to complexities with migrating data from eight state and territory cancer registers into one.
The new test for cervical cancer to replace the current test is contingent on a high quality register and as a consequence, the new MBS items for the new cervical screening test will not be made available until the introduction of such a  register. In the meantime, current arrangements for the existing test will continue. Click here for more details.

Murray PHN events

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For the full Murray PHN CPD events calendar click here.

Regional and Government news

Local data


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Grants and funding


My Health Record

Consumers can now access and view their My Health Record on mobile devices with the soft launch of the Healthi app, the first authorised consumer app to link to the national system since the My Child's eHealth Record app was released back in 2013.

The app includes a summary screen, two searchable document screens, as well as allergies and medications data, including prescriptions and PBS items.

It also allows users to access the records of children or other family members who have given authorised or nominated representative consent, with a function allowing easy movement between each family member's records.
Click here for more details


Copyright  © 2017 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate. Information in this  newsletter  may be duplicated in other media with due  acknowledgement  of the originating sources. Murray PHN does not  necessarily  endorse products and/or  services  advertised in this publication.Murray PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
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