Cancer and oncology

About one in three South Australians experience cancer during their lifetime. The impact of cancer extends well beyond the person directly affected and touches family members, friendship groups, work colleagues and in the case of children, school communities.

All the evidence shows that the early detection plus new and innovative treatment of cancers over the past decade has led to much better outcomes for people in the community. 

More than half of all cancers are successfully treated, and survival rates for some common cancers have increased by more than 20 per cent in the past two decades.

SA Cancer Care Service

SA Cancer Service (SACS) provides coordinated advice and leadership in cancer control and the provision of world class cancer care across the state.

In late 2013 the strategic role of the Cancer Clinical Network was incorporated into the SA Cancer Service (SACS). SACS continues to provide a central point of contact for cancer related advice and leadership and to ensure that high quality evidence-based cancer services supported by appropriate medical, nursing, supportive care and administrative workforce, infrastructure, information and safety systems are accessible to all South Australians.

Cancer Care Pathways

The South Australian Cancer Care Pathways have been created under the auspices of the SA Cancer Clinical Network, now SA Cancer Service (SACS).

Each pathway looks at the entire journey from diagnosis through staging and treatment to survival or palliative care. They provide recommendations based on current evidence for best practice in the management of patients diagnosed with specific types of cancer.

State-wide Cancer Control Plan 2011 - 2015

The SA State-wide Cancer Control Plan 2011 - 2015 was developed as a guide to providing coordinated cancer control and care in SA.

The plan was developed as a collaborative effort between Cancer Council SA and the SA Cancer Clinical Network, who have been responsible for progressing recommendations under the plan. Since the release of the current plan, the Cancer Clinical Network has been incorporated into the SA Cancer Service (SACS), who have assumed responsibility for progress of recommendations and will continue to progress future work in this area. The SA Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) also has been established following the release of the plan and plays a key role in the progression of research-related recommendations.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people represent just under 2% of the South Australian population.

Their cancer mortality is about 50% higher than that of non-Aboriginal Australians. This is due to an excess of more lethal cancer types, such as cancers of the lung, liver, pancreas and digestive organs, and also because of more advanced stages of cancer at diagnosis, which predispose to poor outcomes. 

Bowel cancer screening

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are diagnosed with cancer at a younger age than other Australians and they die from cancer at a younger age.

Making Tracks Bowel Cancer Screening brochure (228 KB PDF)
Access and Awareness to bowel cancer screening for Aboriginal people

Making Tracks Health Screening for Bowel Cancer Flip chart (2MB PDF)

The flip chart covers areas such as:

  • the bowel
  • bowel cancer
  • who is at risk of bowel cancer
  • signs and symptoms of bowel cancer
  • how to do a Faecal Occult Blood Test
  • follow up tests such as colonoscopy
  • how to reduce the risk of bowel cancer

Making Tracks Video for use in South Australia to assist in providing information on bowel cancer and bowel cancer screening to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women, particularly those eligible for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.


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