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Long-term trends in cancer mortality for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory

Condon, John R., Barnes, Tony, Cunningham, Joan and Armstrong, Bruce K. (2004). Long-term trends in cancer mortality for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory. Medical Journal of Australia,180(10):504-507.

Document type: Journal Article
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Title Long-term trends in cancer mortality for Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory
Author Condon, John R.
Barnes, Tony
Cunningham, Joan
Armstrong, Bruce K.
Journal Name Medical Journal of Australia
Publication Date 2004
Volume Number 180
Issue Number 10
ISSN 0025-729X   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 504
End Page 507
Total Pages 4
Place of Publication Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Company
Field of Research 1117 - Public Health and Health Services
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DEST)
Abstract Objective:
To examine long-term trends in cancer mortality in the Indigenous people of the Northern Territory (NT) of Australia.

Comparison of cancer mortality rates of the NT Indigenous population with those of the total Australian population for 1991–2000, and examination of time trends in cancer mortality rates in the NT Indigenous population, 1977–2000.

NT Indigenous and total Australian populations, 1977–2000.

Main outcome measures:
Cancer mortality rate ratios and percentage change in annual mortality rates.

The NT Indigenous cancer mortality rate was higher than the total Australian rate for cancers of the liver, lungs, uterus, cervix and thyroid, and, in younger people only, for cancers of the oropharynx, oesophagus and pancreas. NT Indigenous mortality rates were lower than the total Australian rates for renal cancers and melanoma and, in older people only, for cancers of the prostate and bowel. Differences between Indigenous and total Australian cancer mortality rates were more pronounced among those aged under 64 years for most cancers. NT Indigenous cancer mortality rates increased over the 24-year period for cancers of the oropharynx, pancreas and lung, all of which are smoking-related cancers.

Cancer is an important and increasing health problem for Indigenous Australians. Cancers that affect Indigenous Australians to a greater extent than other Australians are largely preventable (eg, through smoking cessation, Pap smear programs and hepatitis B vaccination).
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