Research Shows Rural Iowans Die from Cancer at Higher Rate than Urban Residents

New research shows rural Iowans get cancer less often than their urban counterparts but die from it more frequently.

There are several factors at play. Breast cancer is more prevalent in urban populations in Iowa than in rural ones. And there is a higher rate of colorectal and lung cancer in rural populations.

Despite the different types and rates of cancer across the state, University of Iowa professor of epidemiology Mary Charlton says her research shows rural people die from the disease more than urban people do often because they lack access to screening and treatment…

Charlton says traveling to larger areas to get cancer care is difficult for rural residents and often prevents them from getting the care they need. She leads a 650-member consortium of public health professionals and researchers working to address cancer cases in Iowa to control the factors that cause it in both rural and urban populations.

Charlton says the consortium is working to close the access and treatment gap by extending the resources of larger cancer centers to community hospitals in rural areas, mostly through virtual visits during which cancer patients have access to oncologists in larger cities.

Charlton is working to develop a network of rural Iowa hospitals that will also collaborate with one another. The Iowa Cancer Affiliation Network is made up of hospitals across the state and often works with oncologists from the University of Iowa.

(credit to Iowa News Service)