Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

High Cancer Rates in Indigenous People of High-Income Countries

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Indigenous people in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand have high rates of preventable cancers, including lung and cervical cancer, according to research published in The Lancet Oncology.

The most commonly occurring cancers among indigenous men, irrespective of region, were lung, prostate and colorectal cancer. Among indigenous women, breast cancer was the most frequent cancer, followed by lung and colorectal cancer.

Of note were high rates of lung cancer among indigenous men in Australia, New Zealand and Alaska. Observed rates were between 44% (Western Australia) and 155% (New Zealand) higher than those observed in non-indigenous men.

Among women, lung cancer rates were also particularly high in New Zealand Māori (four times the rate observed in non-Māori) and Alaskan natives (60% higher than in white women). The incidence of cervical cancer was higher among indigenous women in most jurisdictions.

In Australia, head and neck cancers rates were up to 91% higher in indigenous men than in their non-indigenous counterparts. They were also three-and-a-half times higher among indigenous women in the Northern Territory and twice as high in Alaskan natives compared with white American women.

Despite this, the overall cancer burden was substantially lower in indigenous populations in the USA (except for women in Alaska), similar or...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.