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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screening program and yarning circles

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.

Here at Cancer Council SA, we are committed to working with you to change that statistic.

Through our Aboriginal Cancer Screening Program, we work collaboratively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in a respectful and meaningful way to improve health outcomes and educate you on how to cut their cancer risk.

Our programs cover cancer risk factors, early detection, ongoing treatment and support services, ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have a greater chance at preventing or surviving a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer Council SA’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Screening program aims to promote bowel and breast screening along with well women’s checks. We also can facilitate connections with health professionals and organisations who can provide these checks.

All women;

  • Aged 25-74 should book a well women’s check every five years.
  • Aged 50 – 74 should have a free screening mammogram every two years through BreastScreen SA (women from 40 are also eligible to attend.)
  • Aged 50-74 should book a bowel cancer screening test every two years.

All men; 

  • Aged 50-74 should book a bowel screening test every two years.

Launched in 2018, Cancer Council’s Yarning Circles, held as a part of the Aboriginal Cancer Screening Program and funded by Adelaide PHN, provide an opportunity for people in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to have face to face, open discussions about cancer.

The Yarning Circles are run by trained Aboriginal Community Ambassadors and touch on topics including cancer screening, cancer risk factors. 

In the sessions Community Ambassadors also correct common cancer myths and answer questions.

Enabling people to have a yarn and discuss their concerns face to face helps to connect with the community and break down any barriers or fears that may exist with regards to cancer.

To register your interest please email us.

Want to find out more about how to cut your cancer risk?

Download our free brochures on Cancer Council’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander screening program and learn more about  maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the programs we offer.


Cut Your Cancer Risk flyers


A4 poster series

7 Ways to reduce your Cancer risk

Download resource

Ask me about cancer screening – Bowel, Breast and Well Women’s Checks

Download resource

Ask me about cancer screening – Bowel and Men’s Health & Wellbeing Checks

Download resource

Poster - Your bowel cancer home screening test

Download resource

More culturally appropriate resources

Visit SA Health for more bowel screening resources, including a printable handout for Aboriginal men and women on how to do the test and what happens when the result is positive.

To order a demonstration bowel cancer home test kit email NBCSP@health.gov.au.

For more resources for general practice and Aborginal Health Organstions visit the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. 

There are some cancer risk factors that you can’t change—like age, family history or previous medical history.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t lower your cancer risk in other ways. One in three cancers can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle.