Navajo To Open First Cancer Center In Indian Country

By Laurel Morales
Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 5:20pm
Updated: Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 8:20am

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Cancer Center
Navajo Nation
Navajo President Jonathan Nez along with former second lady Jill Biden tour the new cancer treatment center under development in Tuba City.

The Navajo Nation will house the first cancer center in Indian Country, in Tuba City.

Navajos with cancer often must travel more than a hundred miles to visit an oncologist. Navajo President Jonathan Nez said in a statement that many should be receiving treatment several times a month but often can't afford to pay for gas.

Native Americans are disproportionately affected by certain cancers, according to the National Institutes of Health. American Indians have the lowest survival rates with the disease, with cancers often detected at later stages.

On the Navajo Nation, decades of uranium mining led to a dramatic spike in cancer rates. And hundreds of abandoned mines await cleanup.

The Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation has worked for several years to raise the funds and forge the partnerships with universities and health care companies to open the center.

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