Comparing cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis and outcomes of First Nations and all other Manitobans: a retrospective analysis

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Horrill, Tara C
Dahl, Lindsey
Sanderson, Esther
Munro, Garry
Garson, Cindy
Taylor, Carole
Fransoo, Randy
Thompson, Genevieve
Cook, Catherine
Linton, Janice
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Abstract Background Globally, epidemiological evidence suggests cancer incidence and outcomes among Indigenous peoples are a growing concern. Although historically cancer among First Nations (FN) peoples in Canada was relatively unknown, recent epidemiological evidence reveals a widening of cancer related disparities. However evidence at the population level is limited. The aim of this study was to explore cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis, and outcomes among status FN peoples in comparison with all other Manitobans (AOM). Methods All cancers diagnosed between April 1, 2004 and March 31, 2011 were linked with the Indian Registry System and five provincial healthcare databases to compare differences in characteristics, cancer incidence, and stage at diagnosis and mortality of the FN and AOM cohorts. Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to examine mortality. Results The FN cohort was significantly younger, with higher comorbidities than AOM. A higher proportion of FN people were diagnosed with cancer at stages III (18.7% vs. 15.4%) and IV (22.4% vs. 19.9%). Cancer incidence was significantly lower in the FN cohort, however, there were no significant differences between the two cohorts after adjusting for age, sex, income and area of residence. No significant trends in cancer incidence were identified in either cohort over time. Mortality was generally higher in the FN cohort. Conclusions Despite similar cancer incidence, FN peoples in Manitoba experience poorer survival. The underlying causes of these disparities are not yet understood, particularly in relation to the impact of colonization and other determinants of health.
BMC Cancer. 2019 Nov 06;19(1):1055