Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2021 Jun 23;12(7):e00374. doi: 10.14309/ctg.0000000000000374.
INTRODUCTION: Alaska Native (AN) people experience a high burden of gastric cancer compared with other US Native and non-Native populations. Previous reports have suggested that gastric cancer in AN people occurs at a younger age and is a more aggressive pathologic type. We evaluated all cases of gastric cancer in AN people from 1990 to 2017 and compared the epidemiologic and pathologic characteristics with the gastric cancers that occurred in the same time in the US white (USW) population.
METHODS: Cancer data were collected by the Alaska Native Tumor Registry and National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program. Comparisons were performed looking at the age and sex distribution of the affected AN and USW people, as well as the cancer characteristics, including the location, stage, and pathology.
RESULTS: The age distribution was significantly different between AN and USW patients (P < 0.001), with a greater proportion of AN people diagnosed younger than 40 years (11% vs 3%, P < 0.0001) and 40-59 years (37% vs 20%, P < 0.0001). In addition, a greater proportion of AN people were diagnosed with distant stage cancer (AN: 48% and USW: 35%, P < 0.0001). The age-adjusted rate of gastric cancer in the AN population was significantly higher than the USW population (20.8 vs 6.7 per 100,000 persons, P < 0.0001). Although there has been a significant decrease in the gastric cancer incidence rate in the USW population, no significant change in incidence was seen in the AN population.
DISCUSSION: This study highlights the disproportionate burden of gastric cancer in the AN population. Further work is needed to address and understand this disparity.