4 Apr 2008

New report says poor in US Pacific suffer in cancer care

4:15 pm on 4 April 2008

A new report by a health advocacy group in the United States, shows a widening gap in cancer care among people living in Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa and other Pacific Islands.

The report by the Intercultural Cancer Council Caucus says American Samoans have a higher relative risk for some cancers of the throat, and cancers of the stomach, liver, lung, uterus, thyroid and blood.

All the Pacific jurisdictions list cancer as one of the top three causes of death.

The study also shows that native Hawaiians now have the second highest overall rate of cancer in the U.S.

According to the report, poverty is the major factor contributing to a higher incidence of cancer and mortality rates among the medically underserved.

It says minorities and the poor are less likely to be screened for cancer and therefore the disease is more likely to be at a late stage when diagnosed.