We are firmly committed to addressing cancer health disparities so that the benefits of decades of research can reach all Americans, said National Cancer Institute (NCI) Director John E. Niederhuber, M.D. The fact that lung and colorectal cancers rates were higher in some American Indian and Alaska Native populations points to the work we still have to do.
AI/AN populations were more likely to live in poverty and less likely to have a high school education and health coverage when compared to NHW persons, all indicators of less access to cancer prevention and control services. Also, current smoking rates were high among AI/AN overall, with the highest prevalence among AI/AN in Alaska and in the Northern Plains; in all regions, more AI/AN than NHW persons reported being obese; and screening rates for breast, colorectal, prostate and cervical cancers were lower among AI/AN than NHW persons.
We now have an infrastructure in this country for obtaining high-quality information about new cases of cancer and we can now describe the successes in cancer interventions and treatment as well as uncover populations with varying risks and outcomes, said Holly L. Howe, Ph.D., executive director of North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). Without this surveillance, we would be ill-equipped to address the challenges we face in further reducing the cancer burden.
The authors report that earlier detection of disease through screening, improved prognosis through more effective treatment, tobacco control, and reduction in inequalities in cancer care all point to
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NIH/National Cancer Institute