News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Māori a priority to address poor stomach cancer survival

Needs of Māori a priority to address poor stomach cancer
survival - researchers

New research shows that Māori diagnosed with stomach cancer are 27% less likely to survive than non-Māori, prompting calls for recently-released national stomach cancer standards to prioritise the needs of Māori.

A just-published University of Otago, Wellington study comparing 172 Māori stomach cancer patients with 163 non-Māori patients found Māori patients were younger, more likely to have disease in the lower (distal) part of the stomach, had less access to specialised surgical services, and were less likely to survive once diagnosed.

Lead researcher Virginia Signal says Māori have five times the rate of stomach cancer compared with non-Māori, and the study’s finding about their survival is consistent with previous research.

On average around 390 people in New Zealand develop stomach cancer each year and 276 die of the disease.

The differences in the type of care that Māori stomach cancer patients receive may, at least in part, account for their poorer survival, Signal says.

“Because Māori are more likely to have distal disease, they are more likely to undergo less complex partial gastrectomy. However, they are less likely to have surgery performed by a specialist upper gastrointestinal surgeon and less likely to be treated in a main centre, regardless of where their tumour is sited,” she says.

The higher rate of distal cancer for Māori also suggests differing factors causing the disease than those for non-Māori, Ms Signal says.

Infection with H Pylori – the bacterium that causes chronic inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach (gastritis) – and smoking are two known risk factors for distal stomach cancer. H Pylori infection tends to be acquired in childhood, and is associated with overcrowding and deprivation, she says.

“Further research into the risk factors for Māori is needed, but these findings add weight to a continued emphasis on childhood poverty and reducing smoking among Māori, as well as investigating other risk factors for, and treatment of, H Pylori infection, particularly among Māori.”

A further concern highlighted by the study is the higher likelihood of comorbidities among Māori patients, Signal says.

The presence of one or more additional diseases is known to impact on patients’ quality of care and survival rate, she says.

“Comorbidity amplifies the complexity of, and can delay or change, the treatment pathway. These patients require well-coordinated care and services to ensure they have the best possible patient journey.”

While the recent publication of national standards for the provision of services for upper gastrointestinal cancer patients in New Zealand and the introduction of Faster Cancer Treatment times and care coordination are positive developments, Māori must be prioritised in order to address inequities, Signal says.

“The next step for our research will be to talk to key people in the cancer sector about these findings and how to ensure that prioritisation occurs.”

The study is published online in the international peer-reviewed journal Gastric Journal.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Greening the Red Zone - Bird of the year heats up: kōtare concedes, backs kea
  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news