Checking on our health
The sooner we identify cancer in our bodies, the higher our chances of surviving and doing well. Sometimes we might be afraid to yarn about cancer or learn more about it.
We might have spiritual beliefs about getting sick or we’re worried we will let people down. Whatever concerns you have that are linked to cancer, it is important not to let them stop you finding out if you have cancer.
It is important to find cancer as soon as possible and get it treated as early as possible.
If you don't feel right about something in your body or about cancer, yarn with your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker. Yarning with someone you trust can help address any fears, help you work with doctors better, make cancer treatment easier, and help you live a healthier life.
It is important to remember that you can’t catch cancer from someone, and other mob can’t catch cancer from you either.
There are plenty of ways to look after ourselves, so you can keep looking after family, community and Country.
Health check every year
All mob can get a health check from their doctor every year, for free. Some people call it a 715 health check.
A 715 health check can take about an hour, and is very thorough. People who have a 715 say they yarn to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health worker, then the nurse and finish up yarning to a doctor. They check your height, weight and blood pressure, take a urine test, look at how much sugar is in your blood, and ask about your family and what illnesses they may have had.
A 715 health check also looks at ways to look after your health, as part of your everyday life. If you’ve got any worries about cancer or anything else, you can ask about them too.
Yarn For Life, It’s OK to talk about cancer.
Have a read about the 715 health check and the benefits to community.
Get any problem checked
Sometimes we worry about our health – it might be a lump or cough that isn’t going away. We sometimes worry about these things and look for answers on the internet or elsewhere, but we need to see a doctor so we can get it properly examined.
If there’s something that’s bothering you, get it checked. You can talk to your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker. There’s lots of people willing to help, and they might pick up something that stops you getting sick when you don’t need to.
Find it early through screening
There are three types of cancer screening tests that we have in Australia: for breast cancer, cervical cancer and bowel cancer. These screening programs are free. All these tests help to find cancer early and lower the amount of cancer treatment that our mob go through.
Yarn with your doctor, nurse and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker about cancer screening for you.