The campaign in the Native American community
Native Americans have a high rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses and a higher rate of death compared to the average of all races in the state. That’s why OHA is partnering with the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) to help increase screening among Native Americans in the Portland Metro area and in the nine confederated tribes in Oregon.
Through a collaboration with NPAIHB on a toolkit being developed for Oregon Tribes, OHA is developing tools that will help Tribes communicate with their communities and increase the number of people getting tested. OHA will provide technical assistance to tribal organizations interested in implementing the campaign.
OHA has also developed collateral materials based on research with Oregonians, including Native Americans, and has adapted the materials to be culturally relevant.
I was advised to get screened for colorectal cancer when I turned 50 by my doctor. I told him I wanted to wait a while and decided to put it off until he asked me to do it again. Finally, after turning 55 and much prompting from my friend, I mentioned it to my doctor and he told me it was a smart thing to get done and he couldn’t believe I hadn’t done it already!
The experience turned out to be quite nice and the environment was very comfortable and inviting. This is such an easy procedure; it was as if I took a nap and woke up and it was over.
I can understand the hesitation to get screened, but it’s worth it and necessary in order for people to take preventive measures, as I did have a pre-cancer polyp. After a certain age, good health comes from being proactive.
I encourage others to talk to their doctor about their options and then share your experience with friends and family.
Jenny Kluver – Roseburg