How cancer affects Hawaii residents compared to the rest of the country

April is National Minority Cancer Awareness Week.

This morning, Dr.Shane Morita, Medical Director of Surgical Oncology at the Queen’s Medical Center and MD Anderson Cancer Network Certified Physician, and Lani Almanza, Senior Market Manager for Community Engagement at the American Cancer Society, joined us on Wake Up 2day to talk about how cancer affects Hawaii residents in a very different way than the rest of the country.


Nationally, although cancer is the second leading cause of death in Caucasians, it is the number one cause of death in the Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population. Hawaii has the largest proportion of Asian Americans/Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders in the United States.

Some of the types of cancers that are more frequent in Hawaii than the rest of the US:


  • Thyroid
  • Stomach
  • Liver
  • Death rate for these cancers are higher locally


Hope Lodge is one way that we help overcome some of the barriers in access to care, and now we have that service available to our neighbor island patients here in Hawaii.

Hope Lodge Hawaii Free offers temporary housing for cancer patients from neighbor islands/Pacific .

From December 2016 to February 2017, Hope Lodge served 98 families, providing 641 nights, saving patients $96,150 in lodging, transportation, dining costs


Guests at Hope Lodge


  • Big Island – 66%
  • Kaua’i – 14%
  • Maui – 12%
  • Moloka’i – 4%
  • Guam – 2%
  • Lana’i – 1%
  • American Samoa – 1%


If you want to support the fight against cancer and enjoy an evening of great food, an auction and more, don’t miss the American Cancer Society Hawaii Pacific’s 5th Annual Hope Gala: Midnight in Honolulu. It happens Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 5:30- 9:00 P.M. at the Modern Honolulu.

Tickets will not be sold at the door, so for tickets, call 595-7500 or go to

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