Lung cancer and equity report

Lung cancer and First Nations, Inuit and Métis

Given that First Nations, Inuit and Métis are more likely to have lower incomes and live in rural or remote communities, they likely make up a disproportionately high share of the population described in this report. However, like most health databases today, the Canadian Cancer Registry linked datasets used in this report do not contain First Nations, Inuit or Métis identifiers, and therefore cannot be used to draw conclusions about cancer outcomes for these groups.

What does inequity look like?

The data available from other sources, however, reveal significant inequities in health outcomes. For example, compared to the non-Indigenous population in Canada:

First Nations

First Nations adults are 35 percent less likely to survive lung cancer five years after diagnosis even though they have similar lung cancer incidence rates.

graph 35%


People living in Inuit Nunangat (Inuvialuit Settlement Region, Nunavut, Nunavik and Nunatsiavut) are more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer.

twice as likely


Métis adults are more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer, and 30 percent less likely to survive it after five years.

graph 30%

Efforts to advance equity in lung cancer prevention, care and outcomes for First Nations, Inuit and Métis need to be supported. Part of this includes strengthening the availability of data.

  • Health organizations and data custodians need to support Indigenous governments and organizations with efforts to improve the availability, analysis and dissemination of Peoples-specific, self-determined data to better understand the First Nations, Inuit and Métis lung cancer journey.
  • Although various sources of First Nations, Inuit and Métis health data exist in Canada, much of it has been determined outside of these communities and is not designed to meet their needs. First Nations, Inuit and Métis data also need to be better coordinated to ensure that wholistic information on health and wellness is accessible and standardized. This will enable progress on closing the health equity gaps experienced by First Nations, Inuit and Métis.

For information on references click here to view the report.