TUESDAY, Nov. 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Overall cancer rates are 2 percent higher and cancer mortality is 18 percent higher for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) individuals compared with White individuals, according to a report published online Nov. 8 in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Tyler B. Kratzer, M.P.H., from the American Cancer Society in Kennesaw, Georgia, and colleagues examined cancer incidence and mortality among non-Hispanic AIAN individuals compared to non-Hispanic White individuals.

The researchers found that compared with Whites, the overall cancer rates were 2 percent higher among AIAN individuals for incidence (2014 through 2018) and 18 percent higher for mortality (2015 through 2019). There was wide variation seen in disparities by cancer type and geographic region. For example, cancer mortality rates were 8 and 31 percent higher in AIAN individuals than in White individuals for breast and prostate cancer, respectively, despite lower incidence and availability of early detection tests for these cancers. Among AIAN individuals, the burden was highest for infection-related cancers, for kidney cancer, and for colorectal cancer among indigenous Alaskans. Death rates for infection-related cancers and kidney cancer were about twofold higher among AIAN versus White individuals.

“These findings highlight the need for more effective strategies to reduce the prevalence of chronic oncogenic infections and improve access to high-quality cancer screening and treatment for this group of individuals,” Kratz said in a statement.

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