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Metrics of cancer burden stratified by race can inform tailored prevention strategies. Examining how these metrics, such as incidence, vary by immigration status can provide insight into the drivers of differential cancer risk by race. The conduct of such analyses in Canada has historically been hindered by a lack of sociodemographic data in routine health data sources, including cancer registries. In their recent study, Malagón and colleagues overcome this challenge by using National Cancer Registry data linked to self-reported race and place of birth from the Canadian census. The study provides estimates of cancer incidence for 19 cancer sites across more than 10 racial groups. Compared with the total population, they found that cancer risk tended to be lower among persons belonging to non-White, non-Indigenous racial groups. Exceptions were stomach, liver, and thyroid cancers where incidence rates were higher in minority groups than in the White population. For some cancers and racial groups, incidence was lower irrespective of immigration status, suggesting the healthy immigrant effect may be sustained across generations or that other factors are also at play. The results highlight potential areas for deeper inquiry and underscore the value of sociodemographic data for disease surveillance. See related article by Malagón et al., p. 906.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

Publication Date





876 - 878