Special Populations

Special Populations: American Indians with Cancer
Rebecca Lynn Harjo
University of Phoenix

There are different circumstances of location, culture, beliefs, and history that produce unique patterns of cancer occurrences among American Indian and Alaska Natives (A.I. /A.N.) here in the United States. Many American Indians and Alaska Natives live on tribal reservations and in remote urban areas. American Indian health care is mostly funded by tribally operated programs such as Indian Health Service (I.H.S). Urban American Indians as well as rural American Indians experience living in poverty, with lower levels of education, and poor homes compared to the general public of other Americans. There are well documented differences that happen within Urban American Indians, Alaska Natives, and all of the American Indian population as one in terms of access to health care. American Indians and Alaska Natives deal with greater health disparities as compared to the general public. American Indians and Alaska Natives suffer greatly with health disparities due to tobacco use, domestic violence, and lack of prenatal care, suicides, death from diabetes mellitus, and alcohol abuse that eventually leads to liver disease.   Due to the higher mortality rate within American Indians/Alaska Natives, this special population as a whole is younger as a group compared to the general population. American Indians continue to be the poorest group in the United States. Cancer is the second leading cause of death among AI/AN. This paper will explain why this group of special populations was chosen.
This are of interest was formed due to the health disparities among American Indians and Alaska Natives. There are many barriers that occur when American Indians and Alaska Natives receive treatment. What all this comes down to is most of the AI/AN cannot afford the much needed health insurance for their family members. The benefits that are meant for American Indians and Alaska Natives are...