From 2006-10, cancer took the lives of 2,959 residents of Victoria who were born in Greece, records show, illustrating how deadly the disease is across all ethnic groups.
Most cancers are initially recognized either because of the appearance of signs or symptoms or through screening. Neither of these lead to a definitive diagnosis, which requires the examination of a tissue sample by a pathologist. People with suspected cancer are investigated with medical tests. These commonly include blood tests, X-rays, CT scans and endoscopy.
The most prevalent cancers are bowel, prostate, lung, breast and stomach. Victoria residents not from Greek backgrounds suffer mostly from bowel and lung cancer. Kate Broun, Manager of Screening at Cancer Council Victoria, told Neos Kosmos that, “The types that are affecting Greeks are very similar to the types that are affecting the rest of the Victorian population.”
Bowel cancer is one of the most preventable and screening tests are available at some pharmacies. Neos Kosmos reported that many Australians can receive one of these tests free of charge from the Australian Government. If you are aged 50, 55 or 65, you can order one of these tests to be sent to your home free in the mail.
Diagnosis for the next most common cancer, prostate cancer, is not easy enough as there is no self testing way for that. However, it is not impossible. Broun says, ‘The key thing is to really encourage men to chat to their GP about whether or not prostate cancer tests are right for them.” And, she added: “Quitting smoking is one of the key ways that you can prevent lung cancer.”
Information is available from the Cancer Council Victoria website, which has numerous fact sheets available in Greek.