"The issue of cancer in Native Americans has not previously been reported this broadly," Espey said. "The findings point to a need for intervention. These populations have low screening rates. Regionally, there are very specific needs that should drive policy."
And in cancer control, overall, there is still work to do.
"We have a lot of work in colorectal cancer," Espey said. "We've been making progress in lung cancer, but that's a perennial battle to try to control tobacco use initiation and tobacco cessation."
The "low-hanging fruit" in terms of cancer prevention and early detection right now is colorectal cancer, Espey continued. Less progress has been made here than in breast and cervical cancer, he said.
Learn more about cancer and its prevention at the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: David Espey, M.D., cancer epidemiologist, division of epidemiology and disease control, Indian Health Service, Albuquerque, N.M.; Corey J. Langer, M.D., director, thoracic and head and neck medical oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia; Nov. 15, 2007, Cancer
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