A simple text message will allow Queensland women to determine their risk of cancer from today, as Cancer Council launches the first Atlas of Women’s Cancer in Queensland on Pink Ribbon Day.
Cancer Council Queensland’s Cancer Research Centre launched the Atlas at codepink.org.au to highlight geographic disparities in the diagnosis and mortality of breast, cervical, ovarian and uterine cancers.
When Queensland women text their postcode to Code Pink on 0488 770 088, they receive an instant reply outlining their risk of diagnosis and survival based on where they live.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the Cancer Research Centre played a leading role in investigating why geographical disparities exist for women’s cancers.
“The Atlas shows the risk of Queensland women dying from a women’s cancer within five years of diagnosis is 42 per cent higher in regional and remote areas than urban areas,” Ms Clift said.
“There are a number of factors that influence the differences in cancer incidence and survival, including access to screening and diagnostic services, effective treatment and care.
“Differences in environmental risk factors, migration of cancer patients to and from other geographical areas, the mix of cancer types in a region and random chance are all factors too.”
The Atlas of Women’s Cancer in Queensland is part of a Code Pink Survival Kit designed to help Queensland women prevent cancer, detect it early, and ultimately beat it.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the Code Pink motto was simple: do it, live it, beat it.
“Do it! Participate in recommended breast and pap smear screening and pay attention to your pink bits. Make sure you visit a doctor straight away if you see or feel any abnormalities,” Ms Clift said.
“Live it! A healthy diet and lifestyle can prevent cancer – do at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, follow a healthy diet, quit smoking and drink less alcohol.
“Beat it! Talk to the women in your life about cancer prevention, get involved in fundraising and if someone in your sisterhood is affected by cancer, call 13 11 20 for free information and support.”
Nearly 44,000 Queensland women are alive today after a diagnosis of women’s cancer in the past 25 years, and at least 10 Queensland women are diagnosed with breast or a gynaecological cancer every day.
More information about Code Pink and the Atlas of Women’s Cancer in Queensland is available at codepink.org.au or by texting your postcode to 0488 770 088.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland
Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171
Key Findings – Atlas of Women’s Cancer in Queensland:
· Women living in more remote areas of Queensland tend to have lower incidence of breast cancer but higher risk of death within five years of diagnosis.
· Women in South East Queensland tend to have higher rates of breast cancer incidence, but lower risk of death within five years of diagnosis.
· Women diagnosed with breast cancer while living in outer regional areas of Queensland are 20 per cent more likely to die from cancer within five years than those in South East Queensland.
· Women living in remote or disadvantaged areas tended to have higher incidence of cervical cancer
· Women living in remote, outer regional or disadvantaged areas of the state have a higher risk of dying within five years of diagnosis from cervical cancer.
· There is no evidence of geographic variation in the incidence of ovarian cancer across Queensland.
· There is strong evidence of variation in survival from ovarian cancer across the state, with survival generally decreasing with increasing remoteness.
· Women living in the most socioeconomically disadvantaged or remote areas of Queensland generally had higher incidence of uterine cancer.
· There was only weak evidence of geographical variation in survival from uterine cancer.