Colorectal Cancer

 “Having a first-degree relative with colorectal cancer approximately doubles the risk, and the risk increases with the proportion of relatives affected, particularly if they are diagnosed at an early age (61).”

Colon Cancer in the United States
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US and is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers. It is the third most common cancer in men and in women. “An estimated 56,290 deaths due to colon cancer are expected to occur in 2005, accounting for about 10 percent of cancer deaths this year in the United States (68).”
It is believed that CRC is caused by a complex interaction of inherited susceptibility and environmental factors. Within the large intestine, genetic changes alter the growth of normal cells to form polyps (adenomas). Adenomas are common, are found in approximately 25% of people by age 50, and the prevalence increases with age. Seventy to ninety percent of CRC is believed to arise from these adenomatous polyps (62). Overall, about 10.5% will progress to CRC; however, as many as 50% of large adenomas (over 2 centimeters) will progress to cancer. The average time between the development of a polyp and its progression to CRC is 10-15 years (63).

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.