Objectives: We used improved data on American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) ancestry to provide an updated and comprehensive description of cancer mortality and incidence among AI/AN populations from 1990 to 2009.
Methods: We linked the National Death Index and central cancer registry records independently to the Indian Health Service (IHS) patient registration database to improve identification of AI/AN persons in cancer mortality and incidence data, respectively. Analyses were restricted to non-Hispanic persons residing in Contract Health Service Delivery Area counties in 6 geographic regions of the United States. We compared age-adjusted mortality and incidence rates for AI/AN populations with White populations using rate ratios and mortality-to-incidence ratios. Trends were described using joinpoint analysis.
Results: Cancer mortality and incidence rates for AI/AN persons compared with Whites varied by region and type of cancer. Trends in death rates showed that greater progress in cancer control was achieved for White populations compared with AI/AN populations over the last 2 decades.
Conclusions: Spatial variations in mortality and incidence by type of cancer demonstrated both persistent and emerging challenges for cancer control in AI/AN populations.