July 29, 2015 4:29 pm

Ontario Metis face higher cancer risk than non-aboriginal residents: study

In this Sept. 5, 2013 file photo, an infusion drug to treat cancer is administered to a patient via intravenous drip at a cancer center hospital in Durham, N.C.

AP/Gerry Broome/File

TORONTO — New research suggests Ontario’s Metis residents face a significantly higher cancer risk than the province’s non-aboriginals.

A joint report from Cancer Care Ontario and the Metis Nation of Ontario outlines the aboriginal group’s cancer risk factors such as higher rates of smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity.

For example, the report says nearly half of Metis in their 20s smoke, compared to 27 per cent of non-aboriginal Ontarians.

It says Metis people, who tend to be under-identified or under-represented in indigenous health research, are also less likely to be up to date with cancer screening tests.

Dr. Loraine Marrett, a senior scientist at Cancer Care Ontario, says in a release that the data underlines that the Metis community would benefit from programs framed in their community- and family-centric culture.

The study combined six years of data from Statistics Canada on the lifestyle factors that play the largest role in cancer risk.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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