Aust N Z J Public Health. 2014 Aug;38(4):344-8. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12256.
Exploring the cancer risk perception and interest in genetic services among Indigenous people in Queensland, Australia.
The purpose of this study is to explore the levels of interest among Indigenous people with cancer in identifying cancer risk in their family and seeking genetic counselling/testing.
DESIGN AND SETTING:
A cross-sectional survey of Indigenous cancer patients recruited from four major treating hospitals in Queensland. Participants' family history of cancer and interest in genetic counselling/testing was sought using a structured questionnaire.
Overall, 73.0% of 252 participants reported having a family history of cancer; of those, 52.8% had at least one first-degree relative with cancer. A total of 68.3% of participants indicated concern about relatives being affected by cancer and 54.4% of participants indicated they would like to assess the cancer risk in their family with a specialist. Concern was associated with willingness to discuss the risk of cancer with a specialist (p<0.001).
Indigenous cancer patients do have a family history of cancer and appear willing to undergo genetic counselling/investigation. It is of great concern that this population could miss the benefits of the technological advances in health care, creating a much larger disparity in health outcomes.
Health service providers should not assume that Indigenous cancer patients will not follow their recommendations when referred to genetic counselling/investigation services.
© 2014 Public Health Association of Australia.
Indigenous; cancer; genetic services
- [PubMed - in process]