Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan

The Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control (CNCCC) Project assists in the development of networks and collaboration that produce an infrastructure for a comprehensive approach to cancer within the Cherokee Nation. Since 2003, coalition members and partners have come together to discuss the burden of cancer in Cherokee Nation. Coalition members and partners include local, regional, state and national representatives committed to identifying areas of cancer concern, planning interventions, prioritizing greatest areas of identified need, and then implementing identified strategies and/or providing needed resources. This is the second edition of the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and will serve, like the first, as an information resource for health care professionals and community members, as well as a tool for the Cherokee Nation Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and its respective entities. The coalition is committed to the process of enhancing infrastructure for comprehensive cancer control in the Cherokee Nation with the ultimate goal of reducing morbidity and mortality among the Cherokee community.

Prostate Cancer

 “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men and by the age 75, approximately 50% to 75% of men will have prostate cancer.”

 Prostate cancer is the third leading cancer site in the CNTJSA among the Native American men residing in this area. There are no early warning signs for this type of cancer and is most often diagnosed at the regional stage, with only 2% diagnosed at the localized stage. Most of these patients do not seek treatment and those who do usually are treated outside the CNTJSA. The majority of these patients are diagnosed between the ages of 65 and 74 years. 
 
Cultural barriers, such as the belief that it is their fate to die of cancer, or maybe they have done something wrong and deserve to die from this disease may be reason they do not seek treatment.   Education may play a big role in why they do not seek treatment, and low socioeconomic standards for those who are not very educated. Many of these elderly people live in rural areas and transportation may play an important part in their not seeking treatment. Those who do not have insurance rely on the IHS facilities for their health care needs, which provide limited services and do not provide much of the treatment options available for prostate cancer. Those who rely on the IHS facilities, and even those with insurance, use the contract health services to pay for treatment if money is available.