News Release

Friday, March 24, 2006

Top Cancer Organizations Launch First Online Portal of Asian Language Cancer Information

The Asian American Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training (AANCART) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have launched a searchable online database of Asian language cancer materials. This effort is supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. The Asian and Pacific Islander Cancer Education Materials Web tool (APICEM) is designed to help Asians and Pacific Islanders with limited English-speaking abilities gain access to information on how to reduce their risks of preventable malignancies, including cancers of the breast, cervix, colon, liver, lung and stomach.

"The National Cancer Institute is very proud of this historic database, which will improve the transfer of critical cancer information to Asians and Pacific Islanders. Advances such as this bring us closer to eliminating suffering and death due to cancer among Asians and Pacific Islanders," said Mark Clanton, M.D., deputy director of the NCI for Cancer Care Delivery Systems.

The new Web resource, located on the American Cancer Society web site at, will be unveiled March 24, 2006, in Hawaii, at the annual meeting of AANCART. AANCART is headquartered at the University of California, Davis in Sacramento. "Asians and Pacific Islanders are dying, in too many cases, from a lack of basic information about cancer," said Moon S. Chen, Jr., Ph.D., principal investigator of AANCART and associate director of the UC Davis Cancer Center. "This new Web resource was developed in response to the need we heard from the community, and the NCI, for a single point of access for authoritative cancer education materials for lay audiences. Through this Web portal, people will be able to download cancer information materials that have been reviewed for scientific content and translated into more than 12 Asian and Pacific languages. This site provides one-stop access to an unprecedented volume of these materials."

The new database catalogues and provides links to print materials written in the following languages: Khmer, Chamorro, Chinese, Hawaiian, Hmong, Ilokano, Korean, Samoan, Tagalog, Tongan and Vietnamese, as well as English-language materials culturally tailored for Native Hawaiian populations. Additional languages and topics will be added as more materials become available.

"Until now, health care providers may have had to go to several different organizations to find appropriate materials for their patients," said Sally West Brooks, chair of the ACS national board of directors. "Some of the materials have been available on Web sites, including our own. Others are on sites that may be difficult to find or not easily searchable. This new site provides a single point of access for all of the materials, and will permit a health-care provider to search for patient information by language, type of cancer, cancer-related topic or organization. As we continue to invite organizations that meet our criteria to contribute materials, the site will become increasingly robust and powerful." All materials catalogued on the site have been screened by expert reviewers for medical accuracy, linguistic appropriateness and cultural relevance.

More than 12 organizations developed and contributed the materials, including: the ACS; the California Department of Health Services; the San Francisco-based Chinese Community Health Plan; the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; the Hmong Women's Heritage Association in Sacramento, Calif.; University of California, Los Angeles; and the Vietnamese Community Health Promotion Project at the University of California, San Francisco. In addition, four NCI-funded Community Networks Programs contributed content or provided support for the Web portal: 'Imi Hale, the Native Hawaiian Cancer Network, Honolulu, Hawaii; the Asian Community Cancer Network at Temple University Philadelphia, Pa.; the American Samoa Community Cancer Network at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Tropical Medical Center, Pago Pago, American Samoa; and the Weaving an Islander Network for Cancer Awareness, Research and Training at California State University, Fullerton.

"The new Web tool will make it easier for physicians and other health-care providers to communicate cancer prevention and early detection messages to patients," said Helen Chew, a medical oncologist at UC Davis Cancer Center and medical director for the Sacramento AANCART.

"We have medical interpreters who speak 18 languages, including the most prevalent Asian languages," Chew said. "But this new resource will allow us to also give patients materials to take home, think about, discuss with family members, friends or traditional healers, and refer to as new questions come up. This will be a tremendous resource for all of us who take care of Asian and Pacific Islander patients who have limited English proficiency or who prefer to read materials in their native language. In the age of the Internet, we can and should make life-saving information about cancer prevention and early detection available to everyone."

To view the Asian and Pacific Islander Cancer Education Materials Web Tool: Questions and Answers, please visit

For more information about cancer, please visit the NCI Web site at, or call NCI's Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).

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