Letter to the Editor – Close The
Gap Day

Dear Editor,

This Thursday (March 16), Australians will mark Close the Gap day nationally.

For us at Cancer Council Queensland, this day is an opportunity to raise awareness and take action to achieve health equality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The latest figures from the AIHW show Indigenous Australians still experience significantly higher death rates from cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous Australians are nearly three times more likely to be diagnosed with liver and cervical cancer, and twice as likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than non-Indigenous Australians.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also more than three times more likely to die from cervical and liver cancer, and almost twice as likely to die from lung cancer than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

A range of factors currently contribute to the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health, including social disadvantage, higher smoking rates, poor nutrition and physical inactivity and poor access to health services.

More needs to be done to reduce the burden of cancer in our Indigenous communities.

All levels of government, health services, non-government organisations and the community must work together to help improve Indigenous cancer control in Australia.

Cancer Council’s pledge in 2017 is to continue working in partnership with Indigenous research organisations, health professionals, and communities to prevent cancer and improve cancer survival outcomes for Indigenous Australians.

Together, today, and every day, we can help close the gap.

Cancer Council provides support and information for all Queenslander, all cancers – via cancerqld.org.au and 13 11 20.

Chris McMillan, Chief Executive Officer
Cancer Council Queensland

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171