A bibliometric analysis was employed to objectively assess scientific studies published between 1966 and 1993 which have described cancer among American Indians and Alaska Natives. Searches of the MEDLINE (1966-1993) and CANCERLIT data bases (1983-1994) were used to identify relevant publications. In addition to examining publication sources and quantitative temporal trends, further bibliometric analyses were completed by considering a subset of papers published between 1982 and 1992. A total of 128 studies of cancer among American Indians and Alaska Natives were published between 1966 and 1993; 62 of these articles (48%) appeared between 1988 and 1993. Nine journals accounted for 53% of the total publications. The subset of 68 papers published between 1982 and 1992 were cited a total of 388 times in 136 different journals; the median number of citations was 2. Results demonstrate a limited number of published papers on cancer among American Indians and Alaska Natives. It is hoped that this paper will increase the awareness of cancer as an important health problem among American Indian and Alaska Natives and thereby serve to stimulate additional cancer-related research activities involving these groups.
BACKGROUND: There is little evidence regarding the risk of leukaemia in children following exposure to radionuclides from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant explosion on April 26, 1986. METHODS: This population-based case-control study investigated whether acute leukaemia is increased among children who were in utero or
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Investigations of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations suggest patterns of mortality that differ from the general population. Mortality data reveal excess overall mortality among AI/ANs, as well as excesses for specific causes of death, including accidents, diabetes, liver disease, pneumonia/influenza, suicide, homicide, and tuberculosis. A relative deficit of deaths has been noted for heart disease, cancer, and HIV infections. It is important that physicians demonstrate cultural competence so they may provide quality medical care for the populations they serve. Activities such as provider education, risk assessment, and emphasis on preventive services are offered to facilitate integration into teaching curricula. Knowledge of distinctive mortality patterns among AI/ANs will help clinicians recognize the unique needs of these patients.
Malignant disease is largely unrecognized as a leading cause of death among American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs). Published studies of cancer incidence, cancer mortality, and cancer survival are highlighted to present an overview on the epidemiology of cancer among Native peoples. Cancer incidence and mortality have demonstrated steady increases among AI/ANs during a relatively limited time frame, as well as unique patterns of site-specific cancers. Cancer-survival data reveal that Native peoples have the poorest survival of any racial group for all cancer sites combined and for eight of the ten leading sites. Opportunities to educate health care providers, through continuing medical education programs and focused conferences for postdoctoral and current medical trainees, can be used to enhance cultural sensitivity and to examine ethnic differences in cancer patterns. Enhancement of recognition of the unique cancer patterns among AI/AN populations may lead to improved identification of at-risk individuals and more effective cancer screening programs within Native communities.
A meta-analytic approach was used to summarize studies of cancer incidence among Native populations in the United States and Canada. Native males and females were found to have a significantly lower incidence of cancer for all sites combined. Among Native males, kidney cancer was found to exhibit significantly elevated incidence, while significantly lower incidence was found for cancers of the colon, lung, and prostate, and for lymphomas and leukaemias. Native females were found to have significantly elevated incidence for cancers of the gallbladder, cervix, and kidney, while significantly decreased incidence was found for cancers of the colon, breast and uterus, and for lymphomas. The use of meta-analysis to integrate the findings from these studies allowed the identification of subtle differences in cancer incidence. Although these findings are not definitive, they overcome the limited numbers of site-specific cancers reported in many previous studies and are suggestive of general patterns of cancer incidence among Native populations. In addition, these results may be useful in indicating directions for future research involving specific cancer sites with elevated incidence.
BACKGROUND: The results of preconference and postconference surveys, as well as conference evaluation forms, distributed to attendees at the "Native American Cancer Conference III: Risk Factors, Outreach and Intervention Strategies," Seattle, Washington, June 16-19, 1995, are presented. METHODS: Conference attendees were requested to complete a multi-item survey designed to assess knowledge and perceptions relating to cancer among native peoples at the beginning and end of the conference. The evaluation instrument solicited qualitative impressions of the conference. RESULTS: Survey respondents were predominantly female (70%), and approximately half were native persons representing 48 different American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Knowledge levels were generally high at baseline for most items relating to cancer, with evidence of significant improvement for several items on the postconference survey. The majority of respondents believed that cancer was of equal importance compared with other health problems and that cancer services for American Indians and Alaska Natives are generally less extensive compared with the majority population; there was no evidence of opinion change noted in the postconference survey. Results from the qualitative evaluation expressed the unique and affirmative experiences among participants in terms of the social, cultural, and informational sharing that occurred. CONCLUSIONS: It is hoped that the positive experiences of conference attendees will serve to stimulate the organization of similar programs and the design of research projects that both assess and expand cancer control services among Native peoples.
To examine the extent of cancer prevention and control programs for American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribal groups directly supported by state public health agencies, a cross-sectional survey was completed by chronic disease directors in 50 states. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize responses. Sixteen states (32%) reported having sponsored/directly supported cancer prevention and cancer control services specifically targeted to AI/AN populations. Few state public health agencies had developed culturally-relevant cancer education materials for AI/ANs. Although the respondents directed chronic disease or cancer prevention/control programs in their states, many were unfamiliar with cancer patterns or general health problems among AI/ANs. Survey results indicate that cancer prevention and control services are available to AI/AN populations through most state public health agencies. It is hoped that dissemination of survey results will increase awareness of cancer as a health problem among AI/ANs and lead to an expansion of the services available to this "invisible minority" to levels accessible by the majority population.
Cancer has become a significant health problem in American Indian and Alaskan Native (AI/AN) communities. Despite the precipitous rise in cancer rates, limited data are available concerning cancer control services operative in these communities. To address this issue, a cross-sectional survey of all federally recognized tribes was undertaken to ascertain the breadth of cancer control activities offered and Tribal Health Directors perceptions of and priorities ascribed to cancer. This article presents responses given by AN Health Directors juxtaposed to those proffered by AI Health Directors. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of respondents perceived cancer rates to be increasing. Cancer was found to rank third, fifth among AI Health Directors, among seven health conditions when Directors were asked to rank their Tribe's commitment to confronting each one. Awareness of cancer as a public health concern coupled with competing health problems relegates cancer control activities to a lower priority. Findings underscore the need to elevate the issue of cancer in Indian Country as well as to educate investigators to become more sensitive and responsive to other Tribal health issues.
BACKGROUND: Cancer is becoming a significant health problem for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Despite the precipitous increase in cancer rates in these populations, limited data are available regarding the extent of cancer control services available in these communities. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of tribal health directors of all federally recognized tribes was undertaken to discover the breadth of cancer control activities offered and directors' perceptions of and priorities ascribed to cancer. RESULTS: Little more than half (53%) of respondents perceived cancer rates to be increasing. Cancer was found to rank fifth among seven health conditions when directors were asked to rank their tribe's commitment to confronting each. Lower relative levels of awareness of cancer patterns coupled with competing health problems relegated cancer control activities to low-priority issues. CONCLUSIONS: Findings from this study underscore the need to elevate the issue of cancer in Indian Country and to educate investigators to become more sensitive and responsive to other tribal health issues.