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CDC Media Advisory

Report Shows High Regional Lung and Colorectal Cancer Rates in American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States, 1999-2004

For Immediate Release: August 20, 2008
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations (404)639-3286


What:

CDC released the most comprehensive cancer data available for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) across the United States. Cancer incidence rates, especially lung and colorectal, among AI/AN men and women varied greatly across six geographic regions of the country (Alaska, East, Northern Plains, Pacific Coast, Southern Plains, and Southwest). The data was analyzed from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries, the National Cancer Institute′s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results and linkage to the Indian Health Services records. These findings, “Cancer Incidence in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Populations” were published online today and appearing in the September 1, 2008, supplement of Cancer.

The supplement of 16 studies also focuses on disparities in health risk behaviors and cancer test use, explains how incidence rates vary widely by region, and methods for improving cancer surveillance among the AI/AN populations.

Who:

Some CDC co-authored articles include:
Lung Cancer Incidence among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States, 1999-2004 details the enormous variation in lung cancer incidence rates across Indian Health Service regions. In the Northern Plains, AI/AN had the highest rates, followed by Alaska, and the lowest rates were in the Southwest.

Regional Differences in Colorectal Cancer Incidence, Stage, and Subsite among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1999-2004 describes how AI/AN living in Alaska and in the Northern Plains regions have significantly higher incidence rates of colorectal cancer compared to non-Hispanic white (NHW) persons. Also, AI/AN in all regions were more often diagnosed at later stages.

Cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native Young Adults (20–44 years of age): United States, 1999–2004 describes how the cancer patterns that characterize the overall AI/AN population are apparent among young adults in whom the rates also varied for selected cancers across Indian Health Service regions.

Breast Cancer Incidence among American Indian and Alaska Native Women-United States, 1999-2004 describes how breast cancer incidence rates among AI/AN women varied significantly across Indian Health Service regions. The highest rates were in Alaska and the Northern and Southern Plains and were similar or slightly lower than in NHW women; the lowest rates were in the Southwest and were less than half the rate of NHW women. AI/AN women in all regions were less likely than NHW women to be diagnosed with localized breast cancer.

Regional differences in cervical cancer incidence among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1999-2004 shows that for all regions combined incidence rates of cervical cancer for AI/AN women exceeded those NHW women and varied by geographic area.

Gallbladder Cancer Incidence among American Indians and Alaska Natives, United States, 1999-2004 reveals that, compared to NHW populations, AI/AN had significantly higher gallbladder cancer incidence rates in most regions of the country.

Cancers of the Urinary Tract among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States, 1999-2004 describes how AI//AN have approximately 50 percent greater risk of kidney cancer, although half the risk of bladder cancer compared to NHW.

Primary Liver Cancer Incidence Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, United States, 1999–2004 describes the high liver cancer incidence rates among AI/AN compared to NHW for all regions except the East. The high prevalence of known risk factors for primary liver cancer among AI/AN populations likely make this cancer an important future health concern for this population.

Incidence of Cancers of the Oral Cavity and Pharynx Among American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1999-2004 show that incidence rates for cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx for AI/AN should be examined by individual anatomic cancer site and by geographic region when describing cancer burden and planning cancer control activities.

Prostate Cancer Incidence Among American Indian and Alaska Native Men, United States, 1999-2004 reveals that prostate cancer incidence rates and prostate specific antigen (PSA) testing were lower and varied regionally more for AI/AN men than for NHW men underscoring the need for research to better understand regional variation in incidence and to reduce the disparity in stage distribution.

Gastric Cancer among American Indians and Alaska Natives in the United States, 1999-2004 describes how AI/AN populations are at greater risk for gastric cancer than NHW populations and that relatively high rates of cancer in the central/distal portions of the stomach among AI/AN in some geographic regions may indicate a disproportional burden of H. pylori-associated disease.

When:

For the online articles, to go www.interscience.wiley.com/cancer, and for information about CDC’s efforts in cancer prevention and control, please visit www.cdc.gov/cancer.


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