Gastric cancer in Alaska Native people: A cancer health disparity

Holly A. Martinson, Nancy J. Shelby, Steven R. Alberts, Matthew J. Olnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


AIM to evaluate recent trends in gastric cancer incidence, response to treatment, and overall survival among Alaska Native (AN) people. METHODS A retrospective analysis of the Alaska Native Medical Center patient database was performed. Patient history, clinical, pathological, response to treatment and patient outcomes were collected from one-hundred and thirty two AN gastric cancer patients. The Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Result database 18 was used to collect comparison United States non-Hispanic White (NHW) and AN gastric cancer patient data between 2006-2014. RESULTS AN gastric cancer patients have a higher incidence rate, a poorer overall survival, and are diagnosed at a significantly younger age compared to NHW patients. AN patients differ from NHW patients in greater prevalence of non-cardia, diffuse subtype, and signet ring cell carcinomas. AN females were more likely to be diagnosed with later stage cancer, stage IV, compared to AN males. Diminished overall survival was observed among AN patients with increasing stage, O+ blood type, < 15 lymph nodes examined at resection, and no treatment. This study is the first report detailing the clinicopathologic features of gastric cancer in AN people with outcome data. CONCLUSION Our findings confirm the importance of early detection, treatment, and surgical resection for optimizing AN patient outcomes. Further research on early detection markers are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2722-2732
Number of pages11
JournalWorld journal of gastroenterology
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jul 7 2018


  • Alaska Native
  • Gastric cancer
  • Gender
  • Health disparities
  • Helicobacter pylori

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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