A South Australian Cancer Atlas shows important variations in cancer risk and outcomes, but can better use be made of Australian data to support the work of Cancer Councils?

Greg Sharplin, Samantha Bannister, Marion Eckert, David Roder, Brenda Wilson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Cancer Council SA commissioned the production of An Atlas of Cancer in South Australia by the Public Health Information Development Unit of the University of Adelaide, to identify areas where primary and secondary preventive programs might be better directed to improve cancer outcomes in rural South Australia. The Atlas illustrated the benefit of using data from multiple sources together to highlight inequalities in cancer risk in regional and remote compared with metropolitan areas. Differences in survival were also presented, including important ones requiring immediate attention, but in most instances the differences were small and suggestive of reasonably equitable access to critical services. Based on Atlas data, we have made recommendations regarding cancer-control initiatives needed to reduce inequalities in cancer risk and outcomes in South Australia, particularly in high risk populations such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Acquisition of data for the Atlas proved to be a slow and difficult process. There was good support from many data custodians, but also major barriers, including some that proved insurmountable within the two-year period of the project. Major differences existed in data access and approval processes, and in resource availability to extract data. There is a pressing need to improve data governance arrangements to increase access to existing Australian data to guide cancer-control initiatives.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-149
    Number of pages7
    JournalCancer Forum
    Volume38
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014

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