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Cancer rate for MN tribal members high

Cancer rate for MN tribal members high Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jul 8, 2014 at 10:31 am

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Statistics show American Indians in Minnesota have significantly higher rates of cancer than the general population, a troubling trend linked to tobacco use.

A recent tribal survey found that 59 percent of Minnesota's American Indians smoke. Minnesota Public Radio News says nearly 3,000 people completed the questionnaire, making it the largest tobacco survey ever conducted among American Indians in Minnesota.

Kris Rhodes is executive director of the American Indian Cancer Foundation and a Bad River band member. Rhodes says you can't talk about cancer in American Indian communities without addressing the high rates of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure.

The non-profit organization sponsors the Powwow for Hope held recently at Fort Snelling. It's one of the community's biggest voices in urging Indian people to quit smoking.

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