“Nobody Is Talking About It”: Diné (Navajo) Communities Speak About Stomach Cancer and Helicobacter pylori Infections

Carmenlita Chief, Priscilla R. Sanderson, Angela A.A. Willeto, Alfred Yazzie, Alexis McKinley, Fernando P. Monroy, Robin B. Harris, Eyal Oren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Stomach cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death globally. Helicobacter pylori plays a role in the healthy human gut, but is also associated with multiple chronic diseases, including stomach cancer. Though H. pylori prevalence is declining in parts of the world, it remains high among certain populations. In Arizona, stomach cancer rates are 3–4 times higher among the Navajo Nation population as compared with the non-Hispanic white population. This pilot project assessed adult Diné (Navajo) individuals’ understanding and awareness regarding H. pylori infection and stomach cancer. Focus groups were held in three Diné communities. Data were analyzed thematically using a multi-investigator consensus approach. Participants had limited knowledge of H. pylori infection and stomach cancer and perceived local medical providers as also having limited knowledge on these conditions. Participants described poor health care experiences, structural inequalities, and environmental concerns and associated these with H. pylori infection and stomach cancer. This study highlights the need for additional research and education on current knowledge and perceptions of stomach cancer and H. pylori infections in Navajo Nation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cancer Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Focus groups
  • Gastric cancer
  • Helicobacter pylori
  • Indigenous health
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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