The National Cancer Institute is wrapping up National Minority Cancer Awareness Week.
The weeklong campaign aims to educate about the disease and prevention strategies.
According to Dr. Harold Freeman, Director of the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities,
Native American people are at great risk of contracting the disease:
"The Native Americans and the Alaskan Natives have one of the most severe problems that
we see in the country with respect to cancer."
Freeman says that one of the most vital prevention strategies, testing for cancer, is not
taken advantage of in Native American communities:
"I believe that this problem is deeply related to lack of funding, a high poverty level,
lack of education that is culturally sensitive, and a very complex healthcare system that
they have access to, which is very much under funded."
The National Minority Cancer Awareness Week was mandated in 1986.