Hawaii Unveils New Plan to Reduce Cancer

November 9, 2010, 9:14 AM HST · Updated November 9, 9:14 AM
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Although Hawaii has one of the lowest incidences of cancer-related deaths in the country, there are still many residents of the islands that are affected by this devastating illness every year. According to recent numbers from the Hawaii Department of Health, nearly 6,000 Hawaiians are diagnosed with some form of cancer every year. More than 2,000 of those diagnosed die from cancer annually, making it the second-highest killer on the islands. However the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition wants to change all that, with new information and guidelines to bring those numbers down.

Who Gets Cancer?

In Hawaii, there is a significant disparity between the races and ethnicities who are diagnosed with cancer the most. Native Hawaiians appear to have the highest cancer rates among females on the islands, followed by Caucasians. The male population shows Caucasians with the highest cancer rates, followed by the Japanese. In cancer-related deaths, both males and females see the highest numbers among native Hawaiians and Caucasians. Filipino and Chinese females have the lowest cancer rates overall.

The Goal of the Coalition

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Hawaiian health officials believe that all the residents of Hawaii will be touched by cancer in some way during their lives, and that is why they formed the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition to raise awareness and reduce the burden of cancer throughout the islands. The goal of the coalition is to offer the best possible strategies to minimize cancer through risk reduction, early detection and effective treatment options.

The specific objectives that will help the coalition achieve those goals include:

  • Reduction of known risk factors to help prevent cancer before it begins
  • Decrease late-stage cancer incidence by improving early detection protocols
  • Provision of access to the Hawaiian health care system, particularly for cancer survivors and the medically underserved in the community
  • Improvement in the quality of life for those battling cancer and their friends and family members

These objectives are clearly explained in the coalition’s publication, “Hawaii Cancer Facts & Figures 2010,” as well as in their action plan known as the “Hawaii State Cancer Plan 2010-2015.” This action plan spells out the above objectives and provides resources to Hawaiian residents to help them deal with cancer and its far-reaching effects.

Cancer may be one of the top killers in the islands, but there are plenty of health professionals that would like to see those statistics change. Thanks to the formation of the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Control Coalition and the Hawaii State Cancer Plan, residents of the islands will now be well equipped to stop cancer in its tracks or effectively treat the disease after it is diagnosed.

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