Stage at diagnosis for Māori cancer patients: disparities, similarities and data limitations.

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Māori are more likely than non-Māori to get cancer, and once they have cancer they are less likely to
survive it. One frequently proposed explanation for this survival disparity is differences between
these groups in terms of stage at diagnosis-whereby Māori may be less likely to be diagnosed at an
earlier stage, when treatment is more feasible and outcomes are better for the patient.

However, this simple explanation ignores the true complexity of the issue of stage at diagnosis as a driver of survival disparities, and makes critical assumptions about the quality of available staging data. In this manuscript, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the authors draw on New Zealand Cancer Registry and available clinical audit data to explore this issue in detail.