Cancer has a greater impact on Indigenous women than other Australian women.

While cancer of the cervix and uterus are more common in Indigenous women and breast cancer is less common,  Indigenous women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than other Australian women.

Our research focus:

Since 2013, we have been investigating the effectiveness of the National Cervical Screening Program for Indigenous women. Despite higher cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates, this program provides very little information about cervical screening among Indigenous women.

For several years we have been investigating the cause of a cluster of vulvar cancer in young Indigenous women in several Arnhem Land communities. This usually rare cancer occurs in these communities much more commonly than anywhere else in Australia.

Our research impact:

Working in collaboration with the Indigenous Reference Group, we have developed community education resources about vulvar cancer. To improve early diagnosis and treatment of vulvar cancer, we worked with the Northern Territory Department of Health to develop and conduct an education program for primary care staff working in Arnhem Land.

Key staff:
Collaborators:
  • The Indigenous Reference Group for the Arnhem Land vulvar cancer investigation
  • Northern Territory Department of Health
  • Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania
  • Cancer Council New South Wales
  • Cancer Council Queensland
  • University of New South Wales
  • Australian National University
  • Victoria Cytology Service.
  1. Condon, J. R., Rumbold, A. R., Thorn, J. C., O’Brien, M. M., Davy, M. J., & Zardawi, I. (2009). A cluster of vulvar cancer and vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia in young Australian Indigenous women. Cancer Causes & Control, 20(1), 67-74.
  2. Condon, J.R., Zhang, X., Baade, P., Griffiths, K., Cunningham, J., Roder, D.M., et al. (2014). Cancer survival for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: a national study of survival rates and excess mortality. Population Health Metrics 12(1), 1.
  3. Cunningham, J., Rumbold, A.R., Zhang, X., Condon, J.R. (2008). Incidence, aetiology, and outcomes of cancer in Indigenous peoples in Australia. The Lancet Oncology 9(6), 585-95.
  4. Garvey, G., Cunningham, J., Valery, P.C., Condon, J., Roder, D., Bailie, R., Martin, J., Olver, I. (2011). Reducing the burden of cancer for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians: time for a coordinated, collaborative, priority-driven, Indigenous-led research program. Medical Journal of Australia, 194(10), 530-1.
  5. Rumbold, A.,Tan, S., Condon, J., Taylor-Thomson, D., Nickels, M., Tabrizi, S., et al. (2012). Investigating a cluster of vulvar cancer in young women: a cross-sectional study of genital human papillomavirus prevalence. BMC Infectious Diseases, 12(1), 243.
  6. Tan, S. E., Garland, S. M., Rumbold, A. R., Zardawi, I., Taylor-Thomson, D., Condon, J. R., & Tabrizi, S. N. (2013). Investigating a cluster of vulvar cancers in young women: distribution of human papillomavirus and HPV-16 variants in vulvar dysplastic or neoplastic biopsies. Sexual health, 10, 18-25.
  7. Tan, S. E., Garland, S. M., Rumbold, A. R., & Tabrizi, S. N. (2010). Human papillomavirus genotyping using archival vulval dysplastic or neoplastic biopsy tissues: comparison between the INNO-LiPA and linear array assays. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 48(4), 1458-1460.
  8. McWhirter, R. E., Mununggirritj, D., Marika, D., Dickinson, J. L., & Condon, J. R. (2012). Ethical genetic research in Indigenous communities: challenges and successful approaches. Trends in Molecular Medicine, 18(12), 702-708.
  9. Zhang, X., Condon, J.R., Rumbold, A.R., Cunningham, J., & Roder, D.M. (2011). Estimating cancer incidence in Indigenous Australians. Australian New Zealand Journal of Public Health 35(5), 477-85.

Click here to view more cancer publications in PubMed.

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