Topics in AI/AN Cancer Surveillance

Recorded On: 05/20/2020

AI/AN people experience a different burden of cancer than their non-Native counterparts. This webinar will discuss current issues in AI/AN cancer surveillance, and present research that aims to describe and understand cancer among Indigenous peoples in the US and Canada.

Addressing racial misclassification for AIAN people in cancer surveillance presented by Melissa Jim, CDC

Misclassification of AI/AN as non-AI/AN in cancer surveillance has resulted in the underestimation of the cancer incidence in these populations. I routinely link Indian Health Service (IHS) patient registration data with data from central cancer registries that are part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. I will describe our IHS linkage and demonstrate how to find AI/AN cancer data by IHS Region on the United States Cancer Statistics: Data Visualizations website. Accurate cancer data is crucial to develop public health strategies and programs to address cancer disparities.

Northwest Tribal Epidemiology Center – Sharing cancer data with Tribal populations in the PNW present by Sujata Joshi and Rosamaria Frutos, NPAIHB

The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) will present on how we obtain and utilize cancer surveillance data to support community-based cancer intervention and education projects in Northwest tribal communities. We will briefly discuss our efforts to obtain linkage-corrected cancer data, how we communicate the data to tribal partners, and provide examples of how tribes have utilized data for prevention efforts.

Stomach Cancer Incidence and Mortality Trends among Circumpolar Populations-presented by Jonathan Simkin, BC Cancer

Stomach cancer is largely preventable. Despite declining trends in stomach cancer incidence and mortality among many circumpolar nations, the stomach cancer burden does not appear equally distributed among regional sub-populations, including Indigenous peoples.  Here, we provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of stomach cancer incidence and mortality trends among circumpolar nations and regional populations using population-based data and discuss trends in relation to regional risk factors.

Rosamaria Frutos

Cancer Project Coordinator

Rosa Frutos is the Cancer Project Coordinator at Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and helps coordinate the Northwest Tribal Comprehensive Cancer Program funded by CDC’s Comprehensive Cancer Control Grant. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Masters in Social Work and is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Sujata Joshi

Project Director

Sujata Joshi is the Project Director of NPAIHB’s Improving Data and Enhancing Access-Northwest project, which works to expand Northwest Tribes’ access to accurate and timely health data. Ms. Joshi obtained her MSPH in Epidemiology from the Rollins School of Public Health, and has worked in tribal epidemiology for 9 years. 

Melissa Jim


Melissa A. Jim, MPH (Diné) is an Epidemiologist with the Cancer Surveillance Branch in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that working in collaboration with the Indian Health Service Division of Epidemiology and Disease Prevention in Albuquerque, NM. She has been with the Cancer Surveillance Branch for over 15 years. Prior to working at CDC she worked at the New Mexico Tumor Registry.

Jonathan Simkin

Scientific Director

Jonathan Simkin is the Scientific Director at the British Columbia Cancer Registry, Vancouver, Canada. He completed a Master’s of Public Health at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and is currently a PhD Candidate at the School of Population and Public Health, UBC, Canada. His research focuses on applications of geospatial methods to cancer surveillance and population oncology research. Jonathan has worked at cancer registries since 2015, previously working with the Yukon Cancer Registry as a Cancer Epidemiologist.