The Cancer Council Western Australian Cancer Epidemiology Network (CCEN) was an initiative designed to support and encourage cancer epidemiology and prevention research in Western Australia. The aim of the CCEN was to foster multidisciplinary collaboration in cancer epidemiology and prevention research to reduce the risk of cancer in Western Australians.
An important aspect of the CCEN plan was to involve consumers in directing, supporting, advising and contributing to research projects. The CCEN worked with the Consumer and Community Health Research Network (CCHRN) to form a Consumer Advisory Council (CAC) whose key areas of involvement were:
- Planning and organising a community conversation for the general public.
- Fostering consumer-researcher relationships to support research projects.
- Building capacity for future consumer-researcher collaborations.
Members of the council not only shared their lived experience and views of cancer, but also learned about their potential impact on the direction of cancer epidemiology and prevention research, particularly in Western Australia.
In this report, CCEN describe the process followed to form the CAC and conduct CAC meetings and other consumer events. They also discuss some of the items the CAC provided feedback on, they provide a summary of the online evaluation survey on the effectiveness of the CAC and a summary of the benefits of consumer and community involvement in research.