(HealthDay News) — The overall cancer rate is 2% higher and cancer mortality is 18% higher for American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) individuals compared with White individuals, according to a report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

Researchers examined cancer incidence and mortality among non-Hispanic AIAN individuals and non-Hispanic White individuals using population-based data from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

The overall cancer rate was 2% higher in AIAN individuals than in White individuals (for 2014-2018), and the cancer mortality rate was 18% higher for AIANs (for 2015-2019).

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Disparities varied by cancer type and geographic region. For instance, the breast cancer mortality rate was 8% higher in AIANs, and the prostate cancer mortality rate was 31% higher in AIANs. However, the incidence of both cancers was lower in AIANs.

Death rates for infection-related cancers and kidney cancer were about 2-fold higher among AIAN individuals than among 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 AIAN individuals,” the researchers wrote.

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