Finding cancer early and taking steps to prevent it occurring are two of the most effective ways to reduce the impact of cancer in our community. At least one in three cancers diagnosed in Australia can be prevented through leading a healthy lifestyle. Evidence shows that regular participation in national bowel, breast and cervical cancer screening programs reduces the rate of cancer mortality through early detection.
Your generous support allows Cancer Council SA to develop and deliver a range of education programs, advocacy projects and mass media campaigns that empower more people to cut their cancer risk.
Empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to cut their cancer risk
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with any type of cancer, and have a five-year survival rate that is 15 per cent lower, at just 50 per cent, than the rest of the Australian population.
Cancer Council SA launched its Aboriginal Programs in 2016 and, following a successful community consultation in 2017, this series of programs is now helping to spread an understanding of risk factors, early detection, ongoing treatment and services available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Thanks to your support, initiatives like this one are helping to ensure our services are available and accessible to all South Australians impacted by cancer.
We were proud to formalised our organisational commitment to developing more culturally appropriate communications, practices and services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people this year with the launch of our inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).
Finding cancer early
Cancer Council SA recommends taking part in regular bowel, breast, and cervical cancer screening tests, which will help to catch cancer in its early stages when treatment is most effective.
This year, the Federal Government provided a $10 million grant to Cancer Council to develop and implement a mass media campaign to improve participation rates in the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP). The media campaign extended across three seven-week bursts of activity spanning TV, radio, print, digital and social media, along with further communications support from Cancer Council such as GP outreach.
We also launched the Get Screened and Get On With Living campaign encouraged eligible South Australians to take part in free national breast, bowel and cervical screening programs. It marked the first state-wide collaborative effort by Adelaide PHN, Country SA PHN and Cancer Council SA, and placed an important focus on having regular cancer screening tests so that you can get on with everyday life, without having to worry about the unknown.
In partnership with Country SA PHN, Cancer Council SA delivered the first ever Skin Cancer Awareness Regional Roadshow to share prevention messages with those at highest risk. Eight information sessions were delivered across regional areas with hundreds of community members receiving vital skin cancer awareness and prevention information.
Protecting future generations
The SunSmart Schools and Early Childhood Program is the only program that embeds sun protection policy, practice and resources in the education setting, protecting children when it matters the most.
This year, we recognised 70 schools and early childhood centres across the state as founding members of the program who still hold SunSmart status today. This includes Edwardstown Primary, Birdwood Primary and St Joseph’s School Hectorville, who achieved 20 years of consecutive SunSmart membership in the last financial year. Their efforts alone have reduced the skin cancer risk of thousands of young South Australians.
Advocating for smoke free communities
This year, Cancer Council SA continued to provide trusted, expert information to government, urging policy advancement and legislation change that is helping to minimise the impact of cancer in South Australia.
This included contributing to an in-depth review of our state’s smoking laws, making numerous recommendations including better enforcing smoke free policies in South Australia. Further advocacy work is continuing to close loopholes in alfresco smoking legislation
In 2018, the State Government enlisted Cancer Council SA to provide smoking cessation training for both correctional staff and inmates, in line with the State Government’s commitment to see all South Australian prisons smoke free by the end of 2019.
Quitline continued to provide invaluable smoking cessation support for South Australians trying to quit, with over 4,300 calls made to Quitline for free and confidential information, counselling and support to quit smoking.