Five-year average annual age-adjusted cancer incidence rates for Alaska Natives (Eskimos, Indians, and Aleuts) for the most recent period (1989-1993) are compared to rates of 20 years earlier. Rates for all cancers combined increased 28 and 25% in men and women, respectively, during the 25-year interval. Increases were seen in men in cancers of the lung, prostate, and colon and in women for cancers of the lung, breast, and corpus uteri. Rates are also compared to data from the the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program for United States whites. Rates for all cancers combined in Alaska Native women are now similar to those of United States whites, whereas rates in Alaska Native men are lower than the United States, but only 10% lower. Significant site-specific differences previously reported between Alaska Natives and United States whites persist.
Biopsy specimens from Alaskan Native patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and from other patients seen on the otolaryngology service were tested for Epstein-Barr virus-specific DNA and nuclear antigen (EBNA). Serum samples from both groups were tested for various EBV-related antibodies. EBV DNA and EBNA results were in agreement in 29 of 31 tissue specimens tested by the two methods. Ten of 11 biopsies containing NPC cells were positive for EBV DNA. Two NPC patients had biopsies that showed only atypical epithelium but were also positive for EBV DNA or EBNA. The other tissue specimens were negative except for biopsies from two patients: one with a parotid gland lymphoepithelial lesion; another with undifferentiated carcinoma of salivary gland origin.
Cancer incidence data for Circumpolar Inuit populations were developed and compiled from Greenland, Canada and Alaska from 1969 to 1988 to provide the largest possible base of data for documenting the unusual patterns of cancer previously reported for these populations. Cancer incidence and population data were transferred to the Danish Cancer Registry. Coded information from various ICD-classifications and codes for the basis of diagnosis were transformed to one format, enabling joint analysis. Standard descriptive analysis was carried out with presentation of number of cases, crude incidence rates (CR), age-standardized rates (world) (ASR), cumulative rates to age 64 years, and indirectly standardized ratios (SIR) to the populations of Connecticut (USA), Canada and Denmark. The resulting database can be used to support collaborative international research among the Inuit populations.
Standard incidence ratios for cancers that occurred during 1969--73 among Alaskan Natives (Indians and Eskimo-Aleuts) were reported. Although data suggested that the overall rate of cancer in this population was close to that of U.S. whites, differences existed for certain cancer sites. Thus increased risks in Alaskan Natives were observed for nasopharyngeal, salivary gland, kidney, and gallbladder and liver cancers. Conversely, decreased risks were found for cancers of the lung, larynx, bladder, prostate gland, breast, and corpus uterus and for melanoma and lymphoma.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2158.
The authors collected and analyzed cancer incidence data for Alaska Natives (Indians, Eskimos, and Aleuts) for the 15-year period 1969-83 by ethnic and linguistic groups. Compared with U.S. whites, observed-to-expected ratios are high in more than one ethnic group for cancer of the nasopharynx, salivary gland, liver, gallbladder, and cervix. Low ratios were found for cancer of the breast, uterus, bladder, and melanoma. In Alaska, Eskimos have the highest risk for cancer of the esophagus and liver and the lowest risk for breast and prostate cancer. Risk for multiple myeloma in Indian men in Alaska exceeds not only those of other Native groups in Alaska but that in U.S. whites as well. Despite the short period studied, increases in cancer incidence over time can be documented for lung cancer in Eskimo men and women combined, and for cervical cancer, especially in Indian women.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2156.
Preliminary results of a cancer incidence survey among Alaskan Natives, 1974-78, indicated that patterns continue to differ from those of U.S. whites. Significantly high risks were found for cancers of the nasopharynx and liver in men, and cancers of the nasopharynx, gallbladder, cervix, and kidney in women. In men, significantly low risks were found for cancers of the prostate and bladder, leukemia, and lymphoma, and in women for cancers of the breast and uterus (excluding cervix), and lymphoma. Results are also given separately for Eskimo-Aleuts and Indians. Compared with Indians, Eskimo-Aleuts had higher risks for nasopharyngeal and liver cancers and lower risks for prostate and breast cancers.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2159.
A survey of cancer incidence among Alaska Natives for the 5-year period 1969-73 revealed fewer cancer cases overall than expected in relation to US rates, but significantly increased risk for certain cancer sites: the nasopharynx in both sexes (with excesses over 15-fold), the liver in males, and the salivary glands, gallbladder, kidney and thyroid in females. Compared with earlier reports, the observations suggest marked changes in cancer incidence among Alaska Natives over the past two decades, with declines in esophageal and invasive cervical cancers, and increases in cancers of the lung, colon and rectum.
From: Fortuine, Robert et al. 1993. The Health of the Inuit of North America: A Bibliography from the Earliest Times through 1990. University of Alaska Anchorage. Citation number 2157.
The Alaska Native Tumor Registry includes data from 1969 to the present. This report provides incidence rates over the thirty year period, 1969 through 1998, and compares trends over time for Alaska Natives (AN) with those of US Whites and Blacks. To examine current rates, average annual age-adjusted incidence rates for AN for 1984-98 are compared with US Whites. Data from the registry document numerous differences in rates of occurrence of specific cancers compared to US Whites and Blacks. Studies of these differences may provide clues to the causes and risk factors for the cancers. Most importantly, these data show that although cancer was considered a rare disease in the Alaska Native population as recently as the mid-twentieth century, the incidence rate for all cancers combined among Alaska Natives is now as high as that of US Whites, and even higher in women. On the other hand, despite relative differences in rates, the most frequently diagnosed cancers among Alaska Natives are the same as US Whites. Cancers of the lung, colon/rectum, breast, and prostate are most frequently diagnosed among Alaska Natives and in the U.S. These four cancers comprise over 50% of all diagnosed invasive cancers. Cancer of the lung is almost entirely preventable by eradication of tobacco use. Screening and early detection have been proven to reduce mortality for cancers of the colon/rectum and breast. Primary and secondary prevention of these cancers could markedly improve morbidity and mortality.