Early Detection For Your Protection
Cancer is an incredibly difficult disease to fight or to watch a loved one go through. However, no one has to go through it alone. This page is to help educate people about the symptoms of cancer and how to reduce your risk.
Native American people are more likely to get certain cancers compared to non-Hispanic White people.
American Indian and Alaska Native (Native American) people have much higher rates of getting several cancers, including lung, colorectal, liver, stomach, and kidney cancers, compared to non-Hispanic White people in the United States. There are also important differences in the rate of getting cancer between the six regions where most Native American people live.
What the Studies Found
Scientists used United States Cancer Statistics data to see how many Native Americans got cancer from 2012 to 2016. They compared rates of getting cancer in six regions: the Northern Plains, Alaska, Southern Plains, Pacific Coast, East, and Southwest.
- American Indian and Alaska Native people were more likely to get liver, stomach, kidney, lung, colorectal, and female breast cancers than White people in most regions.
- Compared to White men, Native American men had higher rates of getting liver, stomach, kidney, colorectal, and lung cancer and myeloma.
- Compared to White women, Native American women had higher rates of getting liver, stomach, kidney, colorectal, and cervical cancer.
- Native American men were more likely to get cancer than Native American women. The difference ranged from 23% more likely for lung cancer to 129% more likely for liver cancer.
- The biggest differences in cancer rates between Native American men and White men were found in Alaska, followed by the Southern Plains, Southwest, and Northern Plains.
- The biggest differences in cancer rates between Native American women and White women were found in the Southern Plains, followed by the Northern Plains, Alaska, and Pacific Coast.
Melkonian SC, Weir HK, Jim MA, Preikschat B, Haverkamp D, White MC. Incidence and trends of the leading cancers with elevated incidence among American Indian and Alaska Native populations, 2012–2016.external icon American Journal of Epidemiology 2020.