Clinical Trials Balance Out Urban, Rural Cancer Survival Rates

Although there has been substantial progress in cancer treatment, screening, diagnosis, and prevention over the past several decades, addressing cancer health disparities—such as higher cancer death rates, less frequent use of proven screening tests, and higher rates of advanced cancer diagnoses—in certain populations is an area in which progress has not kept pace.

These disparities are frequently seen in people from low-socioeconomic groups, certain racial/ethnic populations, and those who live in geographically isolated areas. Many of the same population groups that experience cancer health disparities are also significantly underrepresented in cancer clinical trials.

There has been some recent evidence of progress against cancer health disparities, including reductions in lung and prostate cancer deaths among African American men over the past decade. But researchers and public health officials agree that progress has come too slowly, and the cost of disparities—in terms of premature deaths, lost productivity, and the impact on communities—remains substantial and must be addressed.

Cancer disparities and equity research is needed to understand why some groups of people may be more or less likely to develop cancer, experience cancer-related health problems, or die from cancer than other groups of people.

The following article outlines an example of a 2018 study aimed at understanding disparities in survival rates of urban and rural patients.  >>read more