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Health Agencies Update
September 26, 2017

US to Increase Efforts to Reduce Rural Cancer Toll

JAMA. 2017;318(12):1098. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.13332

The disproportionate death toll that cancer causes among people living in rural areas of the United States, as documented in 2 government reports released in July, has prompted the public health research division of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to increase efforts to help correct the imbalance.

A study conducted by the NCI found that rural communities have higher death rates from cancer than metropolitan areas, especially cancers of the lung, colon, rectum, cervix, and kidney, as well as melanomas and oropharyngeal cancers. Led by Robert Croyle, PhD, director of the NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS), the study found that the rural cancer death rate was 182 deaths per 100 000 people vs 166 per 100 000 in urban areas. A recent study by the CDC also found similar differences in death rates.