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Cancer. 2008 Sep 1;113(5 Suppl):1203-12. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23739.

Prostate cancer incidence among American Indian and Alaska Native men, US, 1999-2004.

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  • 1Black Hills Center for American Indian Health, Rapid City, South Dakota 57701, USA.



American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) men experience lower incidence of prostate cancer than other race/ethnic populations in the US, but racial misclassification of AI/AN men threatens the validity of these estimates. To the authors' knowledge, little is known concerning prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing in AI/AN men.


The authors linked cancer registry data with Indian Health Service enrollment records to improve race classification. Analyses comparing cancer incidence rates and stage at diagnosis for AI/AN and non-Hispanic white (NHW) men for 6 geographic regions focused on counties known to have less race misclassification. The authors also used Behavioral Risk Factors Surveillance System data to characterize PSA testing in AI/AN men.


Prostate cancer incidence rates were generally lower in AI/AN than in NHW men for all regions combined (rate ratio of 0.68). However, regional variation was noted among AI/AN men, with incidence rates (per 100,000 population) ranging from 65.7 in the Southwest to 174.5 on the Northern Plains. The rate of distant stage disease was somewhat higher among AI/AN (7.8) than NHW (6.2) men. Nationally, AI/AN men were less likely than NHW men to have undergone recent PSA testing (48.4% vs 58.0%), with prominent regional variation in screening rates noted.


Prostate cancer incidence rates and the proportion of men with recent PSA testing were lower for AI/AN men than for NHW men. However, incident rates and rate of distant stage varied by region more for AI/AN than for NHW. Further research is needed among AI/AN men to evaluate strategies for better understanding the causes of the regional variation in prostate cancer incidence.

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