Evidence shows that people from some culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities participate in breast, bowel and cervical screenings at a lower rate than the national average. About 25% of total cancer cases in Victoria are people born in non-English-speaking countries. People from CALD backgrounds diagnosed with cancer tend to have poorer outcomes and a poorer quality of life compared to non-CALD groups.
It is challenging to get a full and accurate picture of bowel and cervical screening rates for people who speak a language other than English. For the data on bowel cancer screening participation rates gathered from the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), there is unavailability of population subgroup identification at the time of invitation. The only way of identifying participants as speaking a language other than English at home is by self-identification through the participants’ return of a completed participant details form, along with their FOBT for analysis.
For cervical screening which usually happens in a primary health setting, there is inconsistency in the way ethnicity data is collected, making it a challenge to get an accurate picture of participation rate.