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What’s Behind the Fact that Cancer Death Rates Are Higher in Rural Areas?

Those who live in more rural parts of the United States, including rural Pennsylvania and New Jersey, are diagnosed with cancer at a lower rate than are those who live in urban areas. That being said, however, the rate of death from cancer is higher in rural areas, as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and summarized in Medscape.

Rate of Death Higher in Rural Areas

According to the study, the rate of death from cancer in rural areas was 180 deaths per 100,000 persons. In metro counties with one million people or more, the death rate was 158 deaths per 100,000 people. When compared to the actual rate of cancer, these numbers are startling. In rural areas, the rate of cancer was 442 people per 100,000 persons in rural areas, and 457 people per 100,000 residents in metro areas with one million people or more.

How Geography Affects Cancer Survival Rate

As explained by the article, where you live may not be the only factor that influences whether or not you are going to be diagnosed with cancer, but it may affect the treatment you receive, the prevention methods available, and your diagnosis.

The study’s authors offered a number of recommendations for reducing disparities in the cancer survival rate between urban and rural areas. These included:

  • Cancer prevention strategies. The study explained that promoting healthy behaviors, such as not smoking and eating well, and taking action to prevent obesity (and therefore obesity-related cancers) can be part of the solution.
  • Frequent screenings. Another reason that more people may die from cancers in rural areas could be explained by the fact that cancers are diagnosed at a later state. Frequent screenings to check for cancer can result in an earlier diagnosis, which improves the chance of survival.

When Where You Live Affects Whether Or Not You Life or Die

For those who live in rural areas, the statistics above are no doubt unsettling – where you live should never affect the quality of care you receive or the type of treatment available to you. Furthermore, it should never affect a diagnosis, assuming that you visit a healthcare provider at the onset of your symptoms. When a failure to diagnose cancer leads to the progress of a cancer, you have the right to take legal action if the delay would not have occurred but for medical malpractice.

Contact Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C., our attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey believe that all persons, regardless of where they live, deserve access to high quality healthcare. When this right is breached and serious injury or death occurs, the at-fault party needs to be held liable. If you are a victim of medical malpractice or delayed diagnosis, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia can assist you in understanding your rights and options. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your free consultation.

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