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New resource will help Inuit with cancer

Inuit in Canada have much higher rate of cancer incidence and death than the rest of the population.  In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death among Inuit populations. 

For Inuit populations, there are specific challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis. The reality is that there is very little information about cancer written for Inuit or available to Inuit. Many Inuit patients must travel to urban centres for their medical treatment, where they may face communication barriers with their healthcare teams.

The Canadian Cancer Society has partnered with Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada to provide plain language information about cancer in English and five dialects of Inuktitut, as well as culturally appropriate resources for this population.

Inuusinni Aqqusaaqtara – My Journey is a practical new guide for people with cancer, their caregivers and healthcare professionals.  Written specifically for Inuit to better understand cancer, communicate more effectively with healthcare professionals, and make informed healthcare decisions, the two My Journey booklets will support Inuit people with cancer. Book 1 has information about cancer and book 2 has space to keep track of a personal cancer journey. These booklets also contain Inuit-specific cancer resources that are medically accurate, culturally and linguistically appropriate.

These guides are accessible to Inuit cancer patients and their families, friends and healthcare providers through the Inuusinni Aqqusaaqtara – My Journey website. They have also been distributed to the five urban cancer centres that Inuit from the North travel to for cancer care - Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and St. John’s.

These new resources will ensure that, like all Canadians, Inuit have access to accurate cancer information. They will have a lasting impact on Inuit today and for generations to come and will help to ensure that all Canadians receive the information and support they need while living with cancer.