Cancer Burdens Differ in Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Populations

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Indigenous and non-indigenous populations vary in cancer burden.
Indigenous and non-indigenous populations vary in cancer burden.

(HealthDay News) -- In Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States, indigenous populations exhibit clear differences in the scale and profile of cancer compared to non-indigenous populations, according to a study published online Oct. 14 in The Lancet Oncology.

Suzanne P. Moore, Ph.D., from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and colleagues reviewed the incidence data from population-based cancer registries for three states in Australia (Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory), New Zealand, the province of Alberta in Canada, and the Contract Health Service Delivery Areas of the United States. The authors compared rates for incident cancer (2002 to 2006) between indigenous and non-indigenous populations of each jurisdiction.

The researchers found that there were 24,815 cases of cancer in indigenous people and 5,685,264 in non-indigenous people from all jurisdictions. Compared with their non-indigenous counterparts, the indigenous populations had substantially lower overall cancer burden in the United States, except in Alaska; similar or slightly lower overall cancer burden in Australia and Canada; and higher overall cancer burden in New Zealand. In indigenous men, the most commonly occurring cancers were lung, prostate, and colorectal, and for women, breast followed by lung and colorectal were the most commonly occurring cancers.

"Our findings highlight the need for much-improved, targeted programs of screening, vaccination, and smoking cessation, among other prevention strategies," the authors write.

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