Alaska Native Americans have a much higher rate of both colorectal cancer and resulting deaths than other populations—about twice those of the U.S. white population (age-adjusted) for the period of 2004 to 2008. They also have the highest rate of CRC cases of all Native American groups—nearly five times higher than American Indians living in the Southwest, for example.
The reasons? Unknown. But health officials do know that improved screening can prevent CRC, and earlier CRC detection saves lives. And in fact, statewide screening rates among Alaskan Natives improved from 29 percent in 2000, to 41 percent in 2005. Read the rest of this entry »