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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Sep;12(9):926-7.

Inuit are protected against prostate cancer.

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Public Health Research Unit, CHUQ-Laval University, Sainte-Foy, Qu├ębec, G1V 5B3 Canada.


Incidence and mortality rates for prostate cancer are reported to be low among Inuit, but this finding must be additionally supported given the difficulty of obtaining a precise medical diagnosis in the Arctic. We conducted an autopsy study in 1990-1994 among 61 deceased males representative of all deaths occurring in Greenland and found only one invasive prostate cancer. Histological data were available for 27 autopsies and revealed no latent carcinoma. Our results suggest that in situ carcinoma is rare among Inuit and that their traditional diet, which is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and selenium, may be an important protective factor.

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