May 3, 2021
As women, we are busy looking after our family and the rest of our mob and at times, neglect our own health. As Indigenous women we are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer than non-indigenous women. The biggest risk factor for cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV); almost all cases of cervical cancer are caused by infection with a cancer-causing type of HPV. The other main risk factor is smoking tobacco.
Whilst the cervical screening test is available to all women, Indigenous women in Australia face additional structural barriers. The barriers experienced by some women may include racism, a lack of cultural awareness and sensitivity among health professionals, feelings of shame and embarrassment. Cervical cancer is a problem in our mob, it is the 5th most common cancer in Indigenous women.
It is important to look after our health and the health of our sisters by participating in cervical screening. Have a yarn with your doctor to find out more.