Promoting Rural Cancer Care Innovation
Research, Policy, and Practice
RuralCancer.org prioritizes three domains in order to close The Rural Cancer Gap: research, policy, and practice. The organization promotes research to better understand the unique challenges faced by rural cancer patients and to identify effective solutions. Research informs policy decisions at the local, state, and national levels in order to improve cancer care for rural communities. RuralCancer.org promotes best cancer care practices so that patients have access to high-quality treatment. By focusing on these three domains, RuralCancer.org is working to address the disparities in cancer care and close The Rural Cancer Care Gap.
To create awareness of The Rural Cancer Gap and develop and promote solutions to solve it.
To achieve health equity for all rural Americans with cancer.
Clinical Trial Access, Oncology Workforce, and Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is the leading causes of cancer death in the United States, and rural populations are disproportionately affected by lung cancer. Effective screening tests exist and are underutilized. Clinical trial access to clinical trials, colon cancer screenings, and lung cancer screenings, we can help improve cancer care for rural populations and reduce the disparities in cancer outcomes between rural and urban areas. This is a critical step in addressing The Rural Cancer Gap and improving cancer care for rural residents.
Clinical Trial Access
Rural patients face unique challenges in accessing clinical trials, including limited availability of clinical trial sites and lack of transportation to urban centers. This can result in lower participation rates in clinical trials among rural patients, leading to a lack of representation of this population in research. Improving access to clinical trials for rural patients can help ensure that clinical research results are applicable to all populations and can support the development of effective treatments for rural patients.
Lung Cancer Screening
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, with an estimated 234,000 new cases and 154,050 deaths in 2021. Effective screening can help detect lung cancer at an early stage, when it is most treatable, and can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality. However, current screening rates remain suboptimal, with only about 5% of eligible adults undergoing recommended screening.
Rural oncology workforce issues refer to the challenges that rural communities face in terms of access to oncologists and high-quality cancer care. This includes a shortage of medical and radiation oncologists who are trained to work in rural areas and limited access to specialized care and treatments. These issues impact the health and well-being of individuals living in rural areas, as they may be unable to receive the care they need in a timely manner.
Health services research is critical to help close The Rural Cancer Gap. This type of research focuses on understanding how health care is delivered and how it can be improved to better meet the needs of patients. In the context of rural cancer care, health services research can help identify the barriers that rural patients face in accessing cancer care, such as lack of access to specialized services and transportation challenges. It can also help identify effective interventions to improve cancer care in rural areas, such as telemedicine and transportation assistance programs. By conducting health services research, we can d the challenges facing rural cancer patients and develop solutions to improve their care and reduce the disparities in cancer outcomes between rural and urban areas.
Policy development is essential to help close The Rural Cancer Gap. Policy can play a critical role in addressing the challenges facing rural cancer patients and improving their access to care. For example, policy can support the development of clinical trial sites in rural areas, expand insurance coverage for cancer screenings and treatments, and provide funding for transportation services for rural patients. Policy can also help ensure that rural populations are represented in research and that the results of clinical trials are applicable to all populations. By developing effective policies, we can support the delivery of high-quality cancer care in rural areas and reduce the disparities in cancer outcomes between rural and urban populations.
Promoting best practices is crucial to help close The Rural Cancer Gap. Best practices refer to the most effective and evidence-based approaches to cancer care, which have been demonstrated to improve patient outcomes. By promoting best practices, we can support the delivery of high-quality care in rural areas and improve the cancer care that is available to rural patients. This can include promoting best practices for cancer screening, early detection, treatment, and survivorship care. By promoting best practices, we can help ensure that rural patients have access to the best possible care and can reduce the disparities in cancer outcomes between rural and urban populations.