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Cancer Risk Factors & Screening Among Inuit in Ontario and Other Canadian Regions

Sep 2017
Data Type:
Publication Series:

We have partnered with Tungasuvvingat Inuit to develop and publish Cancer Risk Factors and Screening among Inuit in Ontario and Other Canadian Regions. This report is in response to the limited information on cancer burden among Inuit living in Ontario and other sub-Arctic regions of Canada.

Highlights of the Report

  • Provides estimates of cancer risk and screening participation among Inuit living both in and outside Inuit Nunangat (the traditional Inuit homeland) and in Ontario specifically (where sample size permits).
  • Provides two companion materials created to bring attention to Inuit-specific determinants of health: a timeline depicting several key historical and contemporary events and an Inuit Nunangat medical travel map that shows where primary care and specialized care services are located.
  • Calls for more Inuit-specific health data for tracking and monitoring cancer rates and outcomes, improving the understanding of key health determinants and assessing the impacts of interventions designed to reduce risk and disease rates in the growing Inuit population outside Inuit Nunangat.

This report is aligned with our third Aboriginal Cancer Strategy, which highlights research and surveillance as key priorities. This research provides evidence that will help Inuit improve their health status and improve security in accessing the health system where they live.

Risk Factors, Prevention and Screening: Slideshow

Figure Descriptions

Figure 1: Tobacco

Smoking tobacco can increase the risk of lung cancer. Inuit are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than the rest of Canada

Figure 2: Tobacco

Today, Inuit have one of the highest rates of smoking in Canada

Figure 3: Tobacco

Inuit adults living inside and outside of Nunangat smoke daily or occasionally more often than non-Aboriginals in Ontario

Figure 4: Tobacco

1 in 5 non-smoking Inuit are exposed to second-hand smoke in the home

Figure 5: Alcohol

  • Many people do not know that drinking alcohol can cause cancer
  • Drinking even small amounts of alcohol increases the risk of many cancers

Figure 6: Alcohol

1,000 to 3,000 new cancer cases in Ontario are from drinking alcohol

Figure 7: Alcohol

Cancers related to drinking alcohol:

  • Breast
  • Mouth
  • Throat
  • Esophagus
  • Liver
  • Colon

 

Figure 8: Alcohol

Binge Drinking:

  • Inuit women living inside and outside of Nunangat binge drink more often compared to non-Aboriginal women in Ontario
  • Inuit men living inside and outside of Nunangat have similar binge drinking behaviours compared to non-Aboriginal men in Ontario

 

Figure 9: Nutrition

  • An unhealthy diet increases the risk of colorectal cancer

Figure 10: Nutrition

Country food is an important component of a healthy diet. It includes food from wild animals and plants such as fish, caribou, musk ox, and berries

Figure 11: Nutrition

1 in 3 Inuit living inside and outside of Nunangat live in households that have low access to healthy foods

Figure 12: Weight

Being overweight or obese causes over 2,500 cancers diagnosed in Ontario every year

Figure 13: Weight

Obesity is 2 times more common in Inuit women living inside and outside of Nunangat compared to non-Aboriginal women in Ontario

Figure 14: Weight

The chances of getting cancer go up with higher body weight

Figure 15: Cancer Prevention

  • Stop smoking
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Eat country foods, fruit, Vegetables & Whole Grains
  • Be physically active

Figure 16: Cancer Screening