PROSTABLOG NZ: Maori and Pacific people living in NZ suffer big disparities in the way cancer is detected and treated, and how well they survive it. READ MORE>
This has been known for some time, but the problem is newly highlighted in the Ministry of Health-funded cancer guidelines for GPs that have just been released.
For example, it reminds us that as many as 17% of Maori cancer cases and 6% of deaths are never reported.
It also points out that health statistics tend to be five years old before they are published, which suggests that in the rapidly changing detection/treatment environment for prostate cancer, decision-making on how best to screen and treat is seriously hampered by lack of knowledge.
While the overall, 174-page report, avoids discussion of population-based screening, it does touch on the issue in the ethnicity section:
Cormack et al. noted that national screening programme data have identified that equitable screening for breast and cervical cancer has not been achieved for Mäori women.
However, BreastScreen South Limited’s results (70% of eligible Mäori women screened in 2005) suggest that the inclusion of focused efforts and leadership are the key to achieving equity in screening.
The report analyses available data on ethnic disparities in cancer detection and treatment, and makes a number of suggestions, including more “cultural competence” training for health workers.
For the full report, CLICK HERE>