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Preventing Chronic Disease

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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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