New Navajo Nation cancer center cuts patients' travel time
ABC NEWS | By FELICIA FONSECA, ASSOCIATED PRESS | TUBA CITY, Ariz. — Jun 27, 2019, 9:57 AM ET
Colon cancer took a heavy toll on Loren McCabe's family.
His great-grandmother was diagnosed too late to fight it. His grandfather didn't want to travel for treatment because he felt better protected within the Navajo Nation's four sacred mountains. McCabe's mother died, too, after choosing treatment so she could see her son graduate from college but having to travel far to receive it.
None had the option of being treated on their reservation, nor do Native Americans elsewhere in the United States, despite having higher rates for some types of cancer.
A hospital on the rural Navajo Nation that serves Navajo, Hopi and San Juan Southern Paiute tribal members is changing that with a cancer treatment center that offers chemotherapy and screenings and takes into account certain cultural beliefs. For instance, the new center at the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corp. is housed in a nondescript building because Navajos believe speaking of death or disease will invite it into their lives.
It welcomed its first patient this month.
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