SA: ‘Hawaiians Suffer Cancer More Than Other Isle Groups’

By Kristen Consillio
Star-Advertiser, February 4, 2017

Cancer is killing Native Hawaiians more than it is any other ethnic group in Hawaii, a new report shows.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the state, with the highest mortality in both Hawaiian men and women, according to the latest report by the University of Hawaii Cancer Center’s Hawaii Tumor Registry.

The disease is being diagnosed later in Hawaiians, when it is at an advanced stage and harder to cure, said Dr. Randall Holcombe, director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center. The group also may be using tobacco at a higher rate and have other genetic factors that make them more susceptible to the disease, he said.

“Many cancers are due to environmental exposures, but others may be due, at least in part, to genetic factors,” he said. “What is probably most important is the gene-environment interaction. Identification of specific ethnic and racial groups that have higher incidences of cancer due to genetic factors allows for the development of targeted cancer prevention interventions for these groups. We want to make sure less people die from this disease.”  Continue reading