Background: The cervical cancer mortality rate for American Indian and Alaska Native women is twice that of all races in the United States. To date the only published national breast and cervical cancer-screening rates for American Indian and Alaska Native women are based on self-reported data. When the Indian Health Service (IHS) conducts an annual audit on patients with diabetes, it includes cancer screening. This observational study presents national breast and cervical cancer-screening rates for American Indian and Alaska Native women with diabetes. Methods: Cancer-screening rates were extracted from the 1995 diabetic audit for the 12 IHS areas. These rates were compared with rates for women without diabetes of the same age, 50 to 69 years, by chart review, at four IHS hospitals in the Aberdeen IHS area. Results: Screening rates for women with diabetes in the 12 areas varied: mammogram (ever) 35% to 78%; clinical breast examination (last year) 28% to 70%, and Papanicolaou smear (last year) 26% to 69%. The Aberdeen IHS area women with diabetes had 51% more clinic visits per year than women without diabetes, but the groups had similar screening rates. Conclusion: Cancer-screening rates for American Indian and Alaska Native women vary by region. In the Aberdeen IHS area, women with diabetes had more visits (missed opportunities) but similar screening rates as women without diabetes. The diabetic audit could be used to monitor national IHS cancer-screening trends for women with diabetes and in the Aberdeen IHS area for all women aged 50 to 69 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health