Posts Tagged ‘Maori and cancer’

MAY 31: PROSTABLOG NZ:  Here’s a question that doesn’t seem to have been addressed for a while – how come fewer Maori than non-Maori are registered as prostate cancer sufferers, yet the death rate among Maori is twice that of non-Maori?

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And why is nobody apparently concerned?

No media coverage has been accorded the problem in the last couple years, and the Ministry of Health’s Maori Health Directorate Newsletter did not mention prostate cancer in its three issues in 2008.

A search of research and academia would no doubt find papers explaining in technical and inaccessible language what’s happening, but what is being done to alert the public?

Why is there no TV marketing campaign to match that being aimed at Maori and Pacifica women to promote cervical cancer screening (aside from the argument that cervical cancer testing is more accurate and less prone to so-called “over-diagnosis” and “over-treatment”)?

Here’s what the Maori Health Directorate’s current website says about Maori male cancer rates in general (Maori comprise about 16% of the NZ population): 

  • Māori male lung cancer registration and mortality rates were three times those of non-Māori males.  
  • Although Māori males had a lower colorectal cancer registration rate than non-Māori, colorectal mortality rates for both Māori and non-Māori males were similar.
  • For Māori males, the liver cancer registration rate was five-and-a-half times that of non-Māori males, and the liver cancer mortality rate was six times that of non-Māori males.
  • Prostate cancer registration was lower for Māori males than for non-Māori males. However, Māori males had a prostate cancer mortality rate twice that of non-Māori males.
  • Rates of stomach cancer registration and mortality were almost three times higher for Māori males than for non-Māori males.
  • For many cancers the rate ratio for Māori compared with non-Māori is higher for mortality rates than for registration rates. This suggests that Māori with cancer may be more likely to die from their cancer than non-Māori.

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