Culture influences the way patients talk about cancer, understand it and communicate their symptoms. It also influences how messages about treatment and care are received by patients. Researchers and translators tell us that cancer terms are highly technical and that it is a challenge to translate words specific to cancer into Aboriginal language.

The Cancer Word Book aims to improve cross-cultural communication between health care providers, patients and family members. Regional Cancer Care’s Aboriginal Cancer Committee developed this tool for translators and those who assist health care providers to communicate with aboriginal people. It is designed to assist patient navigators, cultural interpreters and translators who support Aboriginal people and their families who are diagnosed with cancer. It can also assist health care
providers to communicate with Aboriginal patients and their family members when translation is not available.

A small working group worked with Bruce Beardy to develop the content and layout. The Interpreter’s Manual (Sioux Lookout Zone Hospital, 2000) and the Cancer Word Book (Canadian Cancer Society, 1990) provided useful information for the development of this resource. The Cancer Word Book is designed in two parts: Severn Ojibwe and Ojibwe equivalents. Each section lists the English word with definition and the translated words.

Regional Cancer Care’s Aboriginal Cancer Committee is committed to reducing the burden of cancer for Aboriginal people in Northwestern Ontario. Through the development of culturally relevant resources, the committee aims to increase cancer awareness and education about cancer prevention and care for Aboriginal people. The funding for this project was provided by the Northern Cancer Research Foundation (NCRF).

Download the PDF Documents