Native Americans and Early Detection
Native Americans and Early Detection Native American women come from more than 550 tribes, ranging in size from 20 to 250,000 people. Descending from the original inhabitants of this nation, they face new health risks associated with cultural dislocation, poverty, and the historical neglect of Indian rights and treaties.
Native American women have the poorest survival rate from breast cancer of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. From 1975 to 1984, only 49.7% had five-year survival rates, compared to 75.7% for whites, 70.3% for Hispanics, and 62.8% for African Americans.
Two of the main reasons for the low survival rate are that the breast cancer is not diagnosed until the later stages and there is very little access to "culturally acceptable" early detection services.
The most common barriers to seeking early detection services are the feelings that a diagnosis of cancer equals death, that mammography is painful or can cause death, that Indians don't get cancer, that cancer is a curse from the Creator, that cancer is spread by white doctors, or that cancer invites evil spirits or death into one's own body or the family of the person with cancer.
Please commit to being proactive in your breast health. Get annual mammograms, do monthly breast self exams, and take advantage of the technology of breast thermography, and do your part in adopting a healthier, greener diet and get daily exercise. At BreastHealthOnline, we can help you work on these things!