Is Lung Cancer The Fifth Deadliest Disease? Essay

Is Lung Cancer The Fifth Deadliest Disease? Essay

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When a diagnosis of a disease is presented to a patient, questions will start to overflow their mind. What next? How do I tell my family? Why me? Lung cancer is the fifth deadliest disease in the United States. Native Americans have a different encounter with lung cancer involving morbidity and mortality than non-Native Americans. Although, studies have shown that the incidence of squamous cell lung cancer is higher in Native Americans than whites (Fesinmeyer, 4810). The use of traditional and commercial tobacco has a strong presence in this issue. With tobacco use amongst Native Americans being the highest reported throughout populations, along with use being notably higher than the National average. Protocol for many Native American sacred ceremonies calls for the use of traditional tobacco.

With today’s reform to revitalize Native American language, culture, and traditions, the goal of many elders is to educate and inform people of the difference between traditional and addictive tobaccos. The National Cancer Institute defines cancer health disparities as “adverse differences in cancer incidence (new cases), cancer prevalence (all existing cases), cancer death (mortality), cancer survivorship, and burden of cancer or related health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States” (NCI). The National Cancer Institute has stated that the most obvious factors are associated with a lack of health care coverage and low socioeconomic status (NCI). Socioeconomic status pertains to a person’s income, education level, and social status within a community where he or she resides (NCI). According to the National Cancer Institute “studies have found that socioeconomic status, more than race or ethnicity, predic...


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...nd smoke affects those around who are physically smoking. This issue is not only a primary issue affecting Native American people, but a secondary issue affecting those around them.

In conclusion, more effort should be made to make sure there is equal benefits from past and future cancer prevention and causal action steps. There should be education towards recognizing the difference. The traditional usage is important to recognize. Commercial tobacco use prevention and cessation outreach among American Indians and Alaskan Natives should be informed by and tailored to the Tribal community’s culture (Traditional vs. Commercial Tobacco). Actual rates of commercial tobacco use could vary across the populations all the way down to individualized tribes. With programs that are focused on revitalizing the traditions, tobacco would be seen as a sacrament versus a quick buzz.

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