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Public Health Rep. 2009 Jan-Feb;124(1):79-89.

Assessing cancer stage and screening disparities among Native American cancer patients.

Author information

1
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA. aguadagn@mdanderson.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Disparities in cancer-related health outcomes exist among Native Americans. This article assesses barriers to timely and effective cancer care among Native American cancer patients.

METHODS:

We conducted a community-based participatory survey of newly diagnosed cancer patients to assess their basic knowledge of cancer screening and their beliefs about cancer management. Sociodemographic and cancer-related information was obtained from medical records. Mean scores for correct answers to the screening knowledge battery were tabulated and analyzed by race/ethnicity and sociodemographic characteristics. Multivariable regression models were used to adjust for sociodemographic characteristics in evaluating the association between screening knowledge and race/ethnicity.

RESULTS:

The survey response rate was 62%. Of 165 patients, 52 were Native American and 113 were white. Native Americans with cancers for which a screening test is available presented with significantly higher rates of advanced-stage cancer (p=0.04). Native Americans scored lower on the cancer screening knowledge battery (p=0.0001). In multivariable analyses adjusting for age, gender, income, education level, employment status, and geographic distance from the cancer center, Native American race/ethnicity was the only factor significantly predictive of lower screening knowledge. Native Americans expressed more negative attitudes toward cancer treatment in some of the items regarding impacts and burden of cancer treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:

Native American cancer patients presented with higher rates of advanced-stage disease for screening-detectable cancers, lower levels of basic cancer screening knowledge, and more negative attitudes about cancer treatment than white patients. Public health interventions regarding screening and cancer education are needed.

PMID:
19413030
PMCID:
PMC2602933
DOI:
10.1177/003335490912400111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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