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Gaps in Survey Data on Cancer in American Indian and Alaska Native Populations: Examination of US Population Surveys, 1960–2010
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    Prev Chronic Dis. 10.
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    Prev Chronic Dis
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    Introduction Population-based data are essential for quantifying the problems and measuring the progress made by comprehensive cancer control programs. However, cancer information specific to the American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) population is not readily available. We identified major population-based surveys conducted in the United States that contain questions related to cancer, documented the AI/AN sample size in these surveys, and identified gaps in the types of cancer-related information these surveys collect. Methods We conducted an Internet query of US Department of Health and Human Services agency websites and a Medline search to identify population-based surveys conducted in the United States from 1960 through 2010 that contained information about cancer. We used a data extraction form to collect information about the purpose, sample size, data collection methods, and type of information covered in the surveys. Results Seventeen survey sources met the inclusion criteria. Information on access to and use of cancer treatment, follow-up care, and barriers to receiving timely and quality care was not consistently collected. Estimates specific to the AI/AN population were often lacking because of inadequate AI/AN sample size. For example, 9 national surveys reviewed reported an AI/AN sample size smaller than 500, and 10 had an AI/AN sample percentage less than 1.5%. Conclusion Continued efforts are needed to increase the overall number of AI/AN participants in these surveys, improve the quality of information on racial/ethnic background, and collect more information on treatment and survivorship.
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