Marisa Demarco / KUNM

It’s expensive and it takes years to get a new drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. So researchers at the University of New Mexico are going back through the medicine cabinet of drugs developed for things other than cancer and testing them on cancer cells. 

Victoria Edwards

Most everyone knows someone who has died of cancer. It’s the number two killer in the United States. A White House initiative tried to jump start efforts to cure cancer with virtual summits at 270 sites across the country, including New Mexico.


The risk of developing cancer tends to be lower for Native Americans and Hispanics in New Mexico. But people in these communities tend to be diagnosed at later stages, when the chances of dying are greater.

This month on Public Square from New Mexico PBS – efforts to take early screening for cancer into the communities that need it.

Here, host Megan Kamerick talks with Dr. Gayle Dine Chacón, medical director at Sandia Pueblo, and Elba Saavedra , director of Comadre a Comadre at UNM.

Native American Cancer Rates Remain Static

Jan 7, 2014
National Cancer Institute

New statistics released by the American Cancer Society show that nationally there's been a 20 percent decrease in risk of death from all cancers. For breast and colon cancer, that rate of decline is closer to 35 percent. However, in the Southwest, there's a slightly different picture.