About Cancer walks

There are many issues facing Indigenous people in receiving treatment for cancer, and one reason being that some Indigenous Australians don’t know or understand cancer, or how and where to get help.

NICaN’s goal is to improve Indigenous peoples understanding about Cancer, and one useful tool is our Cancer walks. Indigenous cancer walks promote health messages to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members and address health disparities through increased awareness of cancer prevention practices, the need for screening, and the availability of treatment and care options.

Cancer walk handbook

NICaN has produced a free resource for your use in planning your own cancer walk. NICaN and its partners have successfully been running the walks since 2013 to this present day. The planning and procedure handbook entails all that is needed to know about organising and hosting a successful Cancer walk day for your organisation and within your community.

The Cancer walk Handbook provides:

  • A quick and user friendly contents page, with quick navigatioin to any page within the document at the click of a button.
  • An overview provides a quick introduction about NICaN and what the Cancer walk is all about.
  • Accompanying the introduction is a quick and simple explanation as to how the handbook is to be utilised effectively.
  • A list of Event definitions is provided to assist in making the handbook as comprehensive as possible.
  • A detailed project plan that will help you map out and organize each action required in preparation for the day. In addition, more details for specific actions are provided for most entries, again assisting in making the handbook as comprehensive as possible.
  • A timeline which will be of great assistance in your planning, is provided to help you know what actions need to be initiated or completed and when.
  • Finally, appendixes of templates are provided, making it a very quick and simple process to generate all the documents that the handbook outlines.

Why organize your own walk?

By organising and hosting your own cancer walk, it will help bring your community closer together with a common understanding about cancer and ultimately connect communities across Australia to fight against cancer.

Plan a cancer walk in your area

 The National Indigenous Cancer Network (NICaN) has developed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Walk Guide (CaW) to further raise awareness about cancer amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. NICaN is now providing the tools for you to prepare your very own Cancer walk for your organisation.


Women's Cancer


Breast cancer: is the abnormal growth of the cells lining the breast lobules or ducts.

Cervical cancer: is the growth of abnormal cells in the lining of the cervix

Ovarian cancer: Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumour in one or both ovaries

Uterine cancer: is cancer that begins from abnormal cells in the lining of the uterus or the muscle tissue

Vaginal cancer:  is any cancer that starts in the vagina. There are several types.

Vulvar cancer: can start in any part of the external female sex organs


Men's Cancers

Men and cancer: Caring about your family means caring about your own health too.

Breast cancer: Breast cancer isn't just for women, men can get it too.

Prostate cancer: Prostate cancer develops when abnormal cells in the prostate gland start to grow more rapidly than normal cells, and in an uncontrolled way

Testicular cancer: Cancer that develops in a testicle

NICaN Partners


Menzies School of Health Research

For over 30 years, the Menzies School of Health Research has been a beacon for development, sustainability, health improvement, economic advancement and transformation.

As Australia’s leading medical research institute dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians, and a leader in global and tropical research into life-threatening illnesses, Menzies continues to translate its research into effective partnerships and programs in communities across Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet is an innovative Internet resource that aims to inform practice and policy in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible. In this way, we contribute to 'closing the gap' in health between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians.

Lowitja Institute

Is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation working for the health and wellbeing of Australia's First Peoples through high impact quality research, knowledge exchange and by supporting a new generation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health researchers

Cancer Council Australia

As Australia's peak national non-government cancer control organisation, Cancer Council Australia advises the Australian Government and other bodies on practices and policies to help prevent, detect and treat cancer. We also advocate for the rights of cancer patients for best treatment and supportive care.

request to book a nican ambassador for a community or cancer event

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health professionals

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The SCNAT-IP is an evidence based, culturally appropriate tool for health professionals that can be used to assess the unmet needs of their Indigenous clients and their families having treatment for cancer.

The SCNAT-IP can be given verbally and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

SCNAT-IP is being piloted at various sites around Australia.

For more information visit the SCNAT-IP website.


world indigenous cancer conference 2016

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The World Indigenous Cancer Conference Network

The WICC Network was established following the inaugural conference held in Brisbane in 2016. It is designed to foster collaboration around the world in working with cancer and Indigenous people.


early detection and prevention

Some cancers are easy to find and some are more difficult. There are many things you can do to lessen your risk of many cancers like stopping smoking, having a good diet and exercising regularly. The earlier a cancer is found, the better the chances of treating it.

 Some cancers are found by having regular tests or screens. These screening programs save many lives each year by finding cancer early.


Looking out for yourself and your family

The easiest way to find cancer early is to know your body and knowing what is normal and not normal.


Screening programs

There are three free screening services provided by the federal government which can find cancer early.

Men and women over the age of 50 should have a bowel screen every 2 years.

Women between the ages of 18 and 69 who have ever been sexually active should have a test to screen for cervical cancer every 2 years.

Women aged 50 to 74 can have a free breast screen every 2 years though women over the age of 40 are also welcome to attend.


Indigenous Cancer Advocacy Program

Supporting Indigenous cancer advocates

The Indigenous Cancer Advocacy program (ICAP) is an initiative developed by Menzies School of Health Research to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer survivors to advocate for change to improve cancer services in their communities.

The ICAP program aims to address poorer cancer outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

ICAP trains people in the community to advocate for change to improve cancer services in their communities.

The ICAP program includes a one day workshop and training manual, printed and audio-visual resources and online help to support participants.


Signs for men to look for

Breast cancer

Lumps or bumps on or underneath the skin around your breast

Prostate cancer

  • needing to pee often
  • feeling of pain or burning when peeing
  • blood in the pee
  • trouble getting an erection
  • pain when ejaculating

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