Environmental causes of cancer among Native Americans

Author Name: 
Publication Date: 
Thursday, June 6, 1996
Private File Attachment: 
This article is a commentary on the Native American issue of rising cancer rates, which alarmed medical practitioners of the mid 1990’s. Arguably, this article is too old to serve as current information. Nevertheless, it is a well-written piece from a respected professional. The main points of the article are: early 20th century cancer was a rare disease among Native Americans. He gives several attributions. Rise in smoking, change in diet to fit United States norms, and sadly, also a tendency to die early of other things. What were the causes of this rise of cancer? Well certainly I have given some hints already, but how about the hidden factor, environmental health, with pollutants entering water and game along with soil and plants such as Vinyl chloride, Benzene and Arsenic? Cobb believes he knows the answer to the rise of cancer. Cobb provides solutions from a preventative health perspective. He believes that environmental health improvements are a small part of a larger campaign to reduce Cancer, although the evidence does not indicate that environmental damage is the major risk for cancer in Native American, Alaskan and Canadian people, Cobb concludes that it is a controllable risk factor.