October 18, 2010
Ruth Hummingbird, BBA
Colorectal Cancer Project Coordinator
Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Program
“Cherokee Nation colorectal cancer data shows a lower incidence as compared to the U.S. and Oklahoma, however, mortality rates are higher. Cherokee data suggests a higher occurrence of late stage diagnosis for this population group. Further, the Cherokee Nation WW Hastings Hospital has a very high demand for colonoscopies.
Education has been a big factor in later stage of diagnosis. Increased educational efforts, with the help of the Prevent Cancer Super Colon exhibit visit funded by the Prevent Cancer Foundation and clinical staff advising patients of screening responsibilities, has helped to inform and encourage eligible patients to discuss screening options with their health care providers. This in turn has increased demand for screening services. The Cherokee Nation is taking a proactive approach to addressing this demand by increasing partnerships, increasing surgical time and space in performing colonoscopies.